Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health by Elliot S. ValensteinOver the last thirty years, there has been a radical shift in thinking about the causes of mental illness. The psychiatric establishment and the health care industry have shifted 180 degrees from blaming mother to blaming the brain as the source of mental disorders. Whereas experience and environment were long viewed as the root causes of most emotional problems, now it is common to believe that mental disturbances -- from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia -- are determined by brain chemistry. And many people have come to accept the broader notion that their very personalities are determined by brain chemistry as well. In his award-winning, meticulously researched, and elegantly written history of psychosurgery, Great and Desperate Cures, Elliot Valenstein exposed the great injury to thousands of lives that resulted when the medical establishment embraced an unproven approach to mental illness. Now, in Blaming the Brain he exposes the many weaknesses inherent in the scientific arguments supporting the widely accepted theory that biochemical imbalances are the main cause of mental illness. Valenstein reveals how, beginning in the 1950s, the accidental discovery of a few mood-altering drugs stimulated an enormous interest in psychopharmacology, resulting in staggering growth and profits for the pharmaceutical industry. He lays bare the commercial motives of drug companies and their huge stake in expanding their markets. Prozac, Thorazine, and Zoloft are just a few of the psychoactive drugs that have dramatically changed practice in the mental health profession. Physicians today prescribe them in huge numbers even though, as several major studies reveal, their effectiveness and safety have been greatly exaggerated.
Part history, part science, part expose, and part solution, Blaming the Brain sounds a clarion call throughout our culture of quick-fix pharmacology and our increasing reliance on drugs as a cure-all for mental illness. This brilliant, provocative book will force patients, practitioners, and prescribers alike to rethink the causes of mental illness and the methods by which we treat it.
Facts about Human Brain & How Brain Works - Full Documentary
Cool Brain Facts & Myths
Every day, scientists learn more about how the brain works. In the past 20 years, their knowledge has grown exponentially, even proving some of our earlier beliefs false. In all the brain resources articles below, you can learn more about how the brain and senses work, and the truth behind some common myths about the brain. Strange but true: did you know that an octopus has no blind spot, that reptiles yawn, and that your ears emit sounds? Learn about these and more fun brain facts here. Find the truth behind this and other common brain myths.
Brain development from newborn to adult is surrounded by many assumptions, myths, and false models. Brain development is important to learn about: it impacts how parents think about their children, how teachers and educators design schooling and learning programmes, and how society deals and manages with many of its conceptions and its challenges such as socio-economic status. You will be happy to know that you are basically born with all the neurons you need. There is some continuing neurogenesis in the first few years of life, but you are basically born with all the brain cells you will ever need and use. Note that some neurogenesis can continue throughout life particularly in the hippocampus which is heavily involved in long-term memory formation and in navigation and spatial memories. Though we are born with all the brain cells we will ever need, the brain has had little time, or stimulus to develop connections between these cells — growth can reach thousands of new synapses connections per second! Hence the first few months are defined by limited neurogenesis but massive synaptic growth.
They are myths—falsehoods that are widely believed.
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Home Aging Mind and Memory. Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Beth McQuiston , MD, a neurologist and the medical director of the diagnostics division at the health-care company Abbott, explains that even though the brain has layers of coverings and blood vessels that contain pain receptors, the brain itself has zero. The muscles and skin surrounding the brain, however, can feel pain. Your brain might account for only about 3 percent of your body weight, but it receives about 30 percent of the blood being pumped by your heart. This shows how much attention and support it requires in comparison to the other seemingly important areas of your body.