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The Quest for Psychiatric Advancement through Theory, beyond Serendipity

Authors
  • e., robert
Publication Date
Dec 31, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci12010072
OAI: oai:mdpi.com:/2076-3425/12/1/72/
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Over the past century, advancements in psychiatric treatments have freed countless individuals from the burden of life-long, incapacitating mental illness. These treatments have largely been discovered by chance. Theory has driven advancement in the natural sciences and other branches of medicine, but psychiatry remains a field in its “infancy”. The targets for healing in psychiatry lie within the realm of the mind’s subjective experience and thought, which we cannot yet describe in terms of their biological underpinnings in the brain. Our technology is sufficiently advanced to study brain neurons and their interactions on an electrophysiological and molecular level, but we cannot say how these form a single feeling or thought. While psychiatry waits for its “Copernican Revolution”, we continue the work in developing theories and associated experiments based on our existing diagnostic systems, for example, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), International Classification of Diseases (ICD), or the more newly introduced Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. Understanding the subjective reality of the mind in biological terms would doubtless lead to huge advances in psychiatry, as well as to ethical dilemmas, from which we are spared for the time being.

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