THEORIES ABOUT THE CAUSES OF MENTAL DISEASES AND MOOD DISORDERS
Modern psychiatry rests largely on the theory that mental diseases and mood disorders are caused by an abnormal brain chemistry. Yet, to this day, there are no biological or chemical tests that could verify such a claim. Nonetheless, psychiatric drugs (antipsychotics, antidepressants) designed to reverse the alleged “chemical imbalance” became the standard medical treatment. For the pharmaceutical industry, this unproven doctrine has opened a market of gigantic proportions (watch The Marketing of Madness: The Truth About Psychotropic Drugs).
In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association published its first edition of the DSM-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM presents a classification of mental diseases based on a consensus of elect members of the Association. Since its first publication, the number of categories of “mental disorders” has increased from 106 in the DSM-1 to 297 in the DSM-5, the current edition (2013). The DSM-5 specifies, for instance, 10 distinct “personality disorders”, including the so-called “borderline personality disorder” (BPD) characterized by mood swings, angry and self-harming behavior, patterns of unstable relationships, and a fear of abandonment. In the latest revision, “symptoms” such as caffeine withdrawal, insomnia, shyness, sexual dysfunctions, and ODD-Oppositional Defiant Disorder have also been added to the roster of “mental illnesses”. Previous editions had already elevated arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial conduct to the ranks of psychiatric illnesses, resulting in a rapidly growing medicalization and pathologization of behaviors regarded as “abnormal”.
By design, the DSM is primarily concerned about statistics and symptoms of mental diseases rather than their causes. From a scientific point of view, it has no value. As a diagnostic tool, it is worthless.
Research on neuroplasticity has brought to light that the brain is not, as previously thought, a static cell mass but actually a dynamic system of neural networks. It has been found that if a certain part of the brain is incapacitated, adjacent brain cells take over its function by forming new neural pathways to accomplish the tasks that have been compromised. The recognition that the brain has the ability to heal itself is certainly a welcome paradigm shift in neuroscience. However, concerning the causes of diseases, neuroplasticity research is still locked in the medical belief that physical and mental illnesses are the result of dysfunctions of the human organism. Hence, conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD, ADHD, depression, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors are thought to be caused by an abnormal brain plasticity, or an “overconnected brain that has formed too many plastic connections”. In order to repair the “faulty circuit”, the recommended therapy is to suppress the plasticity tendency through the use of TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) – and this in combination with medication, “typically an antidepressant or a Prozac-type drug”!
Geneticists argue that psychiatric disorders are linked to abnormalities in a person’s DNA while epigeneticists suggest a disrupted gene expression as the cause. Biologists propose that mental illnesses arise from dysregulations in the organism such as improper thyroid functions, abnormal cortisol levels, irregular blood sugar levels, or from viral infections or a sick gut.
In neuroimmunology, immunopsychiatry, and psychoneuroimmunology mental diseases are attributed to a dysfunctional immune system (“antibodies made by a rogue immune system attack the brain and might cause psychosis”, The Lancet, 2016). At the Institute for the Study of Peak States, hearing voices is treated by “making the person’s immune system aware that there is a fungal pathogen present, one that indirectly causes the voices”. This “fungus” is believed to be a “subcellular fungal parasite that has the ability to manipulate the mental state and behavior of its host”. The proposed solution is to “eliminate this organism by finding a drug or a vaccine to immunize people against it.” (Grant McFetridge, Silence the Voices. Discovering the Biology of Mind Chatter)
Psychologists maintain the view that mental illnesses are caused by social and emotional factors such as exposure to violence, early childhood trauma, lifestyle crises, family and relationship problems, or a low socioeconomic status. The common treatment is a combination of psychiatric medication and psychotherapy.
None of these theories are able to explain why a person develops a very specific “mental disease”, why the condition appears at a certain time in someone’s life, why the symptoms occur in different degrees, or why they are permanent or recurring. Based on sound scientific criteria, Dr. Hamer's discoveries of the “schizophrenic constellations” provide us, for the first time, with answers to these questions. They also serve as a foundation for an entirely new therapeutic approach.