Putting The Mind And Soul Back Into Psychiatry

All medicine should be bio/psycho/social. Illness is never just a biological phenomenon — more than 80 percent of health outcomes are determined by economic, social, and behavioral factors.

And the psychosocial part is especially important in psychiatry. As Hippocrates pointed out 2,500 years ago, it is more important to know the patient who has the disease than the disease the patient has.

In recent years, psychiatry has embraced what a former president of the American Psychiatric Association has despairingly called a “bio/bio/bio” model. The enormous research budget of the National Institute Of Mental Health has been totally invested in biologically reductionist brain and genomic research.

Pat Bracken is an Irish psychiatrist and philosopher who would like to put the mind and soul back into psychiatry. Pat writes:

“I believe that psychiatry finds itself in a pernicious position. Pharma has used its financial power to mould psychiatry into something that serves corporate needs, not the best interests of patients. And the massive investment in genetic and neuroscience research has yielded practically nothing of clinical value for our patients.

In fact, we have gone backwards. The narrow focus on biological research has led to a profound neglect of the social, cultural and psychological dimensions —> Read More Here


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