First Psychiatric Hospital: A Study in Contrast

Filed under: History, Mental illness | No Comments

“WORKROOM” Bethlem Royal Hospital of London (1860) founded 1330 … you find yourself in a long and wide gallery, on either side of which are a large number of little cells where lunatics of every description are shut up, and you can get a sight of these poor creatures, little windows being let into the …

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Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Blackouts Lead to Violence

Filed under: Mental illness

Below is the conclusion of a scholarly review of the association between violence and dissociation (similar to blackouts). The author found studies ranging from 10 to 49% correlation between the two. It describes how blackouts can lead to violence as well as the other way round. From: Dissociation and Violence: A Review of the Literature …

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Alcohol Blackouts

Filed under: Human Nature, Mental illness | 2 Comments

From  Addiction Professional: “Take blackouts seriously” by Donal F. Sweeney, MD, FACP, FASAM, July 15, 2011: Long neglected and misunderstood, the alcohol blackout is now being recognized as a serious medical condition worthy of clinical treatment. Blackouts are as old as the grape and as common as swizzle sticks, yet until recently they were considered …

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Mental Illness Not Genetic

Mental Illnesses Not Genetic

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

Second post in a series starting with previous post. Mental illness all in your genes? Think again. A major study by the Brainstorm Consortium comprised of hundreds of investigators over the course of five years was published in the June 22, 2018 issue of Science and entitled, “Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of …

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Mind vs. Brain

EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOANALYSIS

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

Passages from my current project entitled Evolutionary Psychoanalysis: Preface This book is written for those who care for and about the mentally ill. That includes psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses. I am particularly eager for those in training to read it, as your attitudes toward the mentally ill are in the process …

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UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTION CAUSING SUICIDE

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

With two high-profile suicides in the news, it is timely to discuss the inner experience of the most lethal form of depression. Seeking escape from an intense feeling of entrapment is intrinsic to melancholic depression, among the most dreaded of all mental illnesses. Aptly named by Hippocrates, melancholia means “black bile,” a potent metaphor for …

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Elastic relationships

Inside the Most Common Type of Depression

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Mental illness | 1 Comment

I practiced psychiatry during the period in which the paradigm of the mind shifted from the perspective of how it is experienced from the inside (i.e.: phenomenology, mainly psychoanalytic theory) to the examination of how it works from the outside, i.e.: neurochemistry, genetics, and cognitions. The impact of Prozac on this shift cannot be exaggerated. …

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The Montreal Review

The Montreal Review

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Mental illness, Sexual Selection, Summary of Philosophy

After drafting sections of an essay in the blog, it was finally published in the Montreal Review and can be seen by clicking here. This is the cover letter I sent: For many years the political right has implicitly drawn on the authority of Darwin’s paradigm of life as a struggle for fitness to support …

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A Liberal Awakening - Part III

Human Nature – Part III: The Evolution of the Invisible Hand

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Justice, Mental illness

Third in series: click for first or second (two more coming) I entered the field of psychiatry forty-seven years ago imbued by Jung’s theory of a collective unconscious. Jung felt that Freud’s concept of his superego was an attempt to make the collective unconscious personal instead of “universal and deeply historical.” As I began to think …

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Vanity in Human Evolution

Vanity and Human Evolution

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Mental illness | 1 Comment

In Yuval Harari’s widely acclaimed book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind (2015) he makes this sweeping statement: “The most important thing to know about prehistoric humans is that they were insignificant animals with no more impact on their environment than gorillas, fireflies or jellyfish.” He then makes the case that the event that catapulted …

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The P.C.-ness of “Psycho”

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Mental illness

There is plenty to be outraged about in the crude bigotry of our president, but it is little noted that, when he throws around epithets like “psycho,” he is denigrating the mentally ill. Do you or someone you love suffer from “major” depression, panic disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder? I am a psychiatrist and have …

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The Evolution of Human Emotion

∾APE MIND • OLD MIND • NEW MIND: The Evolution of the Human Spirit∾ now on Amazon

Filed under: Human Nature, Justice, Mental illness, Myth, Self domestication, Sexual Selection, The Ascension of the Human Spirit, Two Mind Hypothesis

BACK COVER OF THE BOOK The Ascension of the Human Spirit (excerpt) The remarkable aspect of evolution by sexual selection, which Darwin so courageously proposed, is that it is driven merely by the desire for a trait, in this case the desire for justice. I had realized that sexual selection is not only driven by …

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Therapy for Liberals

Therapy for Liberal Elites: Radical Progressivism

Filed under: Belief, Human Nature, Justice, Language, Mental illness

Look at the back of a one-dollar bill. On the left, you will see a pyramid with the “eye of providence” at the apex. Above this image are the two words Annuit Coeptis, meaning “He approves [or has approved] [our] undertaking,” and below it are three more words, Novus Ordo Seclorum, meaning “New Order of …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Republicans Democrats and Human Nature

Filed under: Author narrative, Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Mental illness, Sexual Selection | 3 Comments

A glaring weakness of the agenda of the political left is that social justice does not appear to be rooted in the flesh and blood of human nature. The two most influential thinkers on our attitudes about what makes us tick are Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud: we are ape-men who when psychoanalyzed are revealed …

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First Psychiatric Hospital: A Study in Contrast

Schizophrenia and the Meaning of . . . .

Filed under: Belief, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness | 2 Comments

In Old Mind, New Mind I chronicle how in my study of clinical depression I gradually came to the conclusion that the basic mechanism of all major mental illnesses is similar to cancer in that it represents the escape from regulation into unrestrained pathological hyperactivity. In cancer, the hyperactivity is the growth of cancer cells; …

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Solomon, Andrew

Andrew Solomon: “Breathtakingly original. . . . A great endeavor of the intellect”

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness | 1 Comment

Andrew Solomon, after reading Old Mind, New Mind sent me these two sentences: In this breathtakingly original book, John Wylie proposes a new theory of mind, one that reconciles evolutionary biology with psychodynamics. This is a great endeavor of the intellect and a deep review of consciousness itself. In this post, I return the compliment. …

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Mental illness stigma

Hidden Evolutionary Benefits to Mental Illness?

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Mental illness

I recently got a note from someone about Old Mind, New Mind who has suffered from mental illness. As soon as he found out that the book was about the relationship between mental illness and human evolution, he assumed that I thought that mental illnesses are adaptive in some way and expressed his reservations about …

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OLD MIND NEW MIND EMOTIONAL FOSSILS THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAND SPIRIT

Old Mind New Mind

Filed under: Author narrative, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness

An Evolved Will for Justice Separates Us from Apes Perhaps the world’s foremost scientist on the subject of mind evolution, Michael Tomasello, states in his recent book, A Natural History of Human Thinking (2014): The main problem is that collaboration, communication, and thinking do not fossilize, so we will always be in a position of …

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Hiding in a hole

SNIT DISORDER AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness

We pick up the narrative as I am describing a prison inmate: He spoke slowly and deliberately with no emotion whatsoever. He had shot his wife dead after drinking one night. He said that he would always love her and was just waiting to die. He then went on to describe in spare, clear language …

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First Psychiatric Hospital: A Study in Contrast

What Is Mental Illness: Excerpt From The Book

Filed under: Mental illness, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The general pathological mechanism of mental illness can be described as a self-reinforcing feedback loop. On the Fourth of July, the politician gets up on the podium and tries to begin his speech. Suddenly there is a piercing squeal from the speakers, and, as he speaks, it only gets worse. Very simply, the sound of …

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