The futuristic nature of psychiatry — scary

Another post on Furious Seasons today made me make this sort of comment:

This makes be think of the movie Minority Report where criminals are caught before they commit a crime. And if you’ve see the movie you know that turns out really bad.

5 thoughts on “The futuristic nature of psychiatry — scary

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  1. Thanks, that’s great fMRI link! I will check it out.

    I saw the most fascinating show about neuroplasticity. It was on Wired Science on PBS. It was basically, how they are teaching blind people to see, by putting a series of electrodes on the tongue! And these people can actually see things, in this manner, such as the case and number of a standard deck of cards.

    Then, when scientists look, with fMRI into their brains, they find that the tongue information is being processed in the visual lobes even though the eyes are not working! Now THIS show, showed a scientific “miracle”. There is no “pill” that can compare to the miracles that happen with the neuroplasticity of the mind!

    I can’t help but be a scientist! I decided to be a scientist when I was in the 4th grade!

    One thing I like is what they call “scientific rigor”. The pharmaceutical industry is not displaying “scientific rigor”. They are barely scientific at all. Wait, I’m being too generous! Let’s just say, not scientific at all!

    Hey, man, if they prove that something works, I’m all for it, but I’m not holding my breath!


  2. OK, first of all, anyone who knows anything about the genome, also knows that it is not important whether you have a gene or not. It matters whether the gene is expressed. It is absurd, therefore, to treat someone, for a “defective gene”, especially if they are showing absolutely NO symptoms (gene expression or lack thereof).

    Secondly, I did work in microarray technology, myself. What is happening is that scientists can put the entire human genome on one “microchip” and then find all the defective genes.

    However, again, perhaps you might want to know if you have a cancer causing gene, but unless that gene is expressed, it is entirely irrelevant.

    To “prove” or provide evidence that there is a certain problem with the biochemistry of the brain, it should be “proven” at the molecular level, with the chemical, perhaps interacting with brain receptors. I don’t see this happening. These are actually pretty simple tests.

    All this stuff about treating people with a certain genome is hogwash. Unless that gene is known to cause disease (for example, Huntington’s disease or Sickle Cell Anemia), it should not be treated, especially with drugs with major side effects.

    To me, it appears that the pharmaceutical industry will not be happy until every single person in the United States is taking a $10/pill drug or even on several $10/pill drugs at one time.

    Also, there has been NO increase in people with mood disorders! There has been an increase in people *falsely diagnosed* with mood disorders due to pressure by Big Pharma on doctors or based upon kickbacks to doctors!

    Recently I have heard that an act was passed, something along the lines of “genomic privacy” act. This is an act that makes it illegal to descriminate against people based upon the content of their genome. That’s for people who trust politicians and trust the medical system to hold true to that.

    I’m in a bit of a quandary, myself. I think because I tend to be a person who worries too much, that once this microchip becomes available, I will refuse it. I believe some things are better not known. Since there are rarely if any cures for anything – psychiatric or somatic, there’s more room for abuse than for early treatment or those super duper miracles!

    Something like bipolar disorder, most likely involves dozens if not hundredsd of genes.

    Then, in some cases, gene 1 may be defective, or maybe gene 42. Then, this complicates things a gene product 1 and 42 may interact. Then there’s the environmental factors. Gene product 42, is regulated by envirmonmental factors, but with an overexpression of gene 42, comes activation of gene 35! Now we have 3 genes involved. . . . etc . . . . . .

    Eventually, you get an exponential amount of interaction of all the genes involved with the “disease”.

    My point is that the human brain, and many biological processes are very complex, gene processes are very complex. To go in, and mess with one gene or even 5 genes, in a gene complex of 220, is absurd.

    Now, there’s something called the Epigenome, that is being mapped. This might be more accurate as it measures expressed genes, but gene families will remain complicated, and treatment for illness based upon genomics or epigenomics will not be as straightforward as the pharmaceutical industry is declaring.

    The new technology, fMRI, seems to be ignored. fMRI studies prove that meditation helps people’s moods, and that people, by chosing to meditate, are changing the structure of the brain, in a way that a chemical cannot. Funny how that never makes the news, or scientific journals. Guess there’s no money in people sitting around saying “Om”! 🙂


  3. Duane: Usually, the “symptoms” of whatever “mental illness” are caused by being “discontent” with civilisation (cf. Civilization and its Discontents), or by having been traumatized by this civilization. Can be in many different ways, like having one’s body “traumatized” by toxins. Doesn’t need to be psychological. Though, I think, it’s often a combination, because somehow our true selves, our nature, and not only the physical one, knows and protests, also when it’s the body that is traumatized/poisoned.

    Imagine, if we were to listen to these protests, and were to take them seriously, instead of silencing them, as we do now – That would mean the end of our wonderful civilization. Indeed.

  4. Gianna,

    This is all very frightening to me – If they were ever able to isolate the gene, or region of the brain responsible for symptoms of “bipolar” and/or “shizophrenia: – they would want to do what exactly?…. Inialate it – good luck.

    I know this article points toward the medical dream of heading the future development of “mental illness’ off – catching it to-the-quick… least per the MD’s quoted/cited, etc….

    But, I have to wonder….There seems to be something else here – Certainly, a boat-load of money to be made, but what else?….

    For me the answer always comes back to getting rid of symptoms that others do not feel comfortable around…..I believe that it’s not the “danger” of these “illnesses” – it’s the “differences” in thought/mood/behavior that they want to get rid of…..

    It makes some people extremely uncomfortable, and for a few – a desire to get rid of the symptoms altogether – “until the end of time”….

    Even if it means getting rid of the people who have these symptoms – by locking them up (out of sight/out of mind), drugging them down (if they can’t think or feel anything, then they can’t think or feel things that the rest find uncomfortable to be around)…..

    Who know what causes these symptoms? Nobody really….Because they can come from so many sources, and for reasons that are unique to each person who has them – as unique as the each person themselves…..

    They should start by looking at the basics – brain toxins, the thryoid, the adrenals, hormones, food/chemical allergies, nutrition, how each person handles stress – ways to meditate…..and look for trauma….individually – person by person…..

    But mostly, we should learn to love people as they are – exactly as they are – when they are “sick”, as they get “well” – if they get “well”, if they don’t get “well”…….Always with hope that they will get well, but with appreciation for them as they are…..Then, there wouldn’t be such a sudden rush, and we’d find ways to help people who suffer be an integral part of our world, of who we are…..and, we’d be better for it….much better, and so would the people who suffer these symptoms….

    We could do a lot of good with all that money they continue to toss at these large group studies – It’s wasted money, and there seems to something very sinister in my mind at the root of it all….I find it very scary.


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