■ Low serotonin causes depression
A concept almost entirely promoted by pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s and 90s to sell serotonin-enhancing drugs like Prozac. No consistent evidence for it.
[A] review of the literature to date in 2006 found that overall, biogenetic causal theories, and labelling something as an “illness”, are both positively related to perceptions of dangerousness and unpredictability, and to fear and desire for social distance. They identified 19 studies addressing the question. 18 found that belief in a genetic or biological cause was associated with more negative attitudes to people with mental health problems. Just one found the opposite, that belief in a genetic or biological cause was associated with more positive attitudes.
These findings are at odds with everything that many people who campaign against stigma have assumed for many years, but they’re not entirely nonsensical. ... [A] story about genetic causes may lead to people being conceived of as “defective” or “physically distinct”. It can create an “associative stigma” for the whole family, who in turn receive new labels such as “at risk” or “carrier”. What’s more, this stigma may persist long after the ADHD symptoms have receded in adulthood: perhaps a partner will wonder: “do I really want to risk having a child with this person, given their genetic predisposition?”
Perhaps it will go further than that: your children, before they even begin to show any signs of inattentiveness or hyperactivity, will experience a kind of anticipatory stigma. Do they have this condition, just like their father? “It’s genetic you know.”
I actually think a lot of the problems come from a) university press releases, and b) psychologists writing about neurology (Psychology Today is a particularly frequent offender).
This seems very problematic to me. If I describe the color-sensation of red and a collection of grey neurons in the visual cortex, is this really describing the same thing in different ways like wetness and water? I don't like the water - wetness analogy because it's too tautological in comparison. Seems to me it would be better to say mind and brain are like water and H20.
Am I missing the difference between a neurological problem, behavior problem, and a brain problem?
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