Treating the diagnosis rather than the individual: A look at the increase in recognized disorders and prescriptions
Originally posted on TED Blog:
By Grace Rubenstein
Eleanor Longden’s new TED Book, Learning from the Voices in My Head, charts her harrowing journey from terrified young woman trembling in a psychiatric ward to a [ted_talkteaser id=1800]stable, successful doctoral candidate who has learned to live peacefully with her inner voices, medication-free. She recounts how her mind shattered into pieces and how she slowly and delicately put it back together.
In recent decades, psychiatry has come to view mental illness through a mainly biological lens, hunting for causes and cures in our brain chemistry. While that approach helps some patients, Longden says, it very nearly destroyed her. She testifies to the need to view patients as individuals, not diagnoses, and to empower each one to heal in his or her own way. As a Ph.D. student in psychology, she also serves up a hefty scientific literature on the problems with over-medicalizing mental illness.