We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The reason that psychological studies are so often wrong is that they are dishonest at their very core. The first thing to check when analyzing a persons' psychological state is his or her "values". That's why Psychologists have visual cube called "semantic space." In this cube are listed the patient's attitudes toward a variety of concepts; such as mother, father, sin, and fraud. Taken as a whole, this constellation of values gives a pretty good picture of how a person feels. And it also (to a large extent) explains why a person acts the way that he or she does. What they call "Talk Therapy" is actually an attempt to change the attitudes that people have toward certain concepts. But the Psychological Industry carefully guards this secret, because it's worth a lot of money to them. They don't want people to examine their own values.
And there's also a deeper secret. As we all know, feminism promised to get women out of the house, and into the workforce. But in order to do that, women had to stop being mothers. Nowadays, it's common for little babies to be dropped-off at daycare. This is a huge problem, because it interferes with the psychological development of the baby. What you need to understand is that a small child does not directly perceive objects. First, he experiences maternal love, and then, through his mother's love, learns to recognize valued objects; such as the "pretty flower." He's not able to make value judgements on his own yet, so his mother's love and guidance are the entire context of his life. Without her he is lost. A babysitter is no substitute for the filial bond. But that doesn't fit the political demands of feminism.
I apologize in advance for my rant:
Oh my Gosh, Frasier not real? I am devastated. You mean those were just pretenders on pretend sets, reading pretend scripts, pretending to be dysfunctional psychiatrists?
All sitcoms make fun of dysfunctional stereotypes -- MASH, Friends, Seinfeld, Big Bang etc. APA is all about dysfunctions. they even have the Big Book of Dysfunctions. The News is full of dysfunctional behavior -- murders, rapes, robberies, accidents, protests, shutdowns, strikes, bankruptcies, failures, fire, flood, earthquakes.
Where, you might ask, are the voices, the definitions of NORMAL? Does the APA have a definition, a benchmark, of well-adjusted, functional, successful behavior? Of Evolutionary successful behavior? Kids are told to "Go find themselves" without being given a clue as to what to look for -- no guidance to knowing when they have found it.
With tens of thousands of psychologists, sociologists, criminologists, human resources etc. in nearly every school, instutition and big business, why is our society not better adjusted?
We know that every human endeavor -- science, politics, economics, business education, philosophy, religion, -- must have a high moral or virtious foundation to succed. Why are morals and virtue not inculcated in every training? every board meeting? ever staff meeting? every class room? Why?
You posted a link the other day to a book about addiction, which I read and enjoyed. The author pointed out that using brain scans to make points about disease and dysfunction ignores the fact that all learning and development manifests itself in brain changes. His argument about addiction is that it's an otherwise ordinary learning process that goes awry because the lesson learned is dysfunctional. The cure is development and growth that allows a different lesson to take root, which itself will show up in physical brain changes, like any learning.
My opinion, and it's just that, is that the way mental health is approached now is not going to lead into any great insight into what makes some people "work" and other people "not work". Progress will be made only if someone figures out how to combine elements of psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, and sociology into a single coherent theory of humanity.
It's been said that the human brain is the only thing in the universe we know of that is potentially capable of understanding itself. there are times when I wonder if it's truly up to that challenge. To use the failed computer metaphor, we're starting to understand the hardware of the brain; what we still don't have is how the software works. It seems to us to be an operating system that is continually rewriting itself.
Another guy named Dan