Advertisement

Behavior and Social Issues

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 132–152 | Cite as

Biological Psychiatry: A Practice in Search of a Science

  • W. Joseph WyattEmail author
  • Donna M. Midkiff
Lead Article

Abstract

The rise of the biological causation model in the past thirty years is traced to psychiatry’s efforts to regain lost status and to protect itself from intrusions by non-medical practitioners, as well as to the pharmaceutical industry’s drive for profits. Evidence in support of the model, including studies of identical twins and of brain structure and function, are less revealing than was earlier thought, due to problems in methodology and interpretation. Organized psychiatry, when challenged in 2003, was unable to provide compelling evidence for biological causation of most mental and behavioral disorders. A paradigm shift away from biological causation and toward environmental causation is called for.

Keywords

biological causation pharmaceutical industry organized psychiatry efficacy of psychotropic medications identical twins brain imaging paradigm 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andreasen, N. C. (Ed.). (2003). American Journal of Psychiatry, 161.Google Scholar
  2. Andreasen, N. C. & Black, D. W. (Eds.). (2001). Introductory textbook of psychiatry (3rd ed.). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
  3. Antonuccio, D. O., Danton, W. G. & DeNelsky, G. Y. (1995). Psychotherapy versus medication for depression: Challenging the conventional wisdom with data. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 26, 574–585.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.26.6.574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Antonuccio, D. O., Danton, W. G., & McClanahan, T. M. (2003). Psychology in the prescription era: Building a firewall between marketing and science. American Psychologist, 58, 1028–1043.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.58.12.1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. APA deplores Louisiana Governor’s decision to sign psychologist-prescribing bill. (May 6, 2004). News release, American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  6. Barchas, J. D. (Ed.). (2004). Archives of General Psychiatry, 61.Google Scholar
  7. Barnett, A.. ( 2003, December 12). Revealed: how drug firms ‘hoodwink medical journals. The Observer/UK News. Retrieved December 10, 2003, from https://doi.org/observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1101680.00.html.
  8. Bradshaw, J. (2004, November/December). 8 schools offer full RxP programs. The National Psychologist, 13, 20.Google Scholar
  9. Brooks-Gunn, J. (1988). The impact of puberty and sexual activity upon the health and education of adolescent girls and boys. Peabody Journal of Education, 64, 88–113.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01619568709538572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bursten, B. (1981). Rallying ‘round the medical model. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 32, 371.Google Scholar
  11. Buie, J. (1990, January). President signs Medicare bill: Victory caps uphill trek. APA Monitor, pp. 17–18.Google Scholar
  12. Byrne, D., Ervin, C. R. & Lamberth, J. (1970). Continuity between the experimental study of attraction and real-life computer dating. Journal of Personality and Social psychology, 16, 157–165.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0029836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cabeeza, R. & Nyberg, L. (1997). Imaging cognition II: An empirical review of 275 PET and fMRI studies with normal subjects. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12, 1–47.  https://doi.org/10.1162/08989290051137585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Caspi, A., Lynam, D., Moffitt, T. E. & Silva, P. A. (1993). Unraveling girls’ delinquency: Biological, dispositional and contextual contributions to adolescent misbehavior. Developmental Psychology, 29, 19–30.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.29.1.19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clausen, J. A. (1975). The social meaning of differential physical and sexual maturation. In S. E. Dragastin & G. H. Elder (Eds.), Adolescence in the life cycle: Psychological change and the social context (pp. 25–47.). New York: Halstead.Google Scholar
  16. Coleman, T. (2004, November 20). Serzone drug maker OKs deal. Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail, p. 3A.Google Scholar
  17. Comer, R. (2005). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (4th ed.). New York: Worth.Google Scholar
  18. Dick, D. M., Rose, R. J., Viken, R. J. & Caprio, J. (2000). Pubertal timing and substance use: Associations between and within families across late adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 36, 180–189.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.36.2.180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Farber, S. L. (1981). Identical twins reared apart. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  20. Faux, S. F. (2002). Cognitive neuroscience from a behavioral perspective: A critique of chasing ghosts with Geiger counters. The Behavior Analyst, 25, 161–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferrell, G. (2004, May 14). Pfizer settles fraud case for $430 million. USA Today, p. 5D.Google Scholar
  22. Friedman, H. (2004, November/December). ‘Mad pride’ about prescription privileges. The National Psychologist, 13, 13, 21.Google Scholar
  23. Friedman, R. A. (2002, August 27). Like drugs, talk therapy can change brain chemistry. New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2005 from https://doi.org/sfhelp.org/01/cx_us_drugs.htm.
  24. Ge, X., Conger, R. D. & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1996). Coming of age too early: Pubertal influences on girls’ vulnerability to psychological distress. Child Development, 67, 3386–3400.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1131784CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ge, X., Conger, R. D. & Elder, G. H., Jr. (2001). The relation between puberty and psychological distress in adolescent boys. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11, 49–70.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1532-7795.00003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Glenmullen, J. (2002). Prozac backlash: Overcoming the dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and other antidepressants with safe, effective alternatives. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  27. Graber, J. A., Lewinsohn, P. M., Seeley, J. R. & Grooks-Gunn, J. (1997). Is psychopathology associated with the timing of pubertal development? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1768–1776.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-199712000-00026
  28. Hales, R. E. & Yudofsky, S. C. (Eds.). (2003). The American psychiatric textbook of clinical psychiatry (4th ed.). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
  29. Havens, L. L. (1981). Twentieth century psychiatry: A view from the sea. American Journal of Psychiatry, 138, 1279–1287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hubbard, R. & Wald, E. (1997). Exploding the gene myth: How genetic information is produced and manipulated by scientists, physicians, employers, insurance companies, educators, and law enforcers (Rev. ed.). New York: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  31. Ismail, M. A. Prescription for power: Drug makers’ lobbying army ensures their legislative dominance. Retrieved July 6, 2005, from https://doi.org/publicintegrity.org/lobby/printerfriendly.aspx?aid=685.
  32. Johnson, L. A. (2004, May 17)). Spending soars for children’s attention deficit, behavior drugs. Charleston Gazette, p. 2D.Google Scholar
  33. Jones, M. C. (1965). Psychological correlates of somatic development. Child Development, 36, 899–911.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1126932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jones, M. C. & Mussen, P. H. (1958). Self-conceptions, motivation and interpersonal attitudes of early and late-maturing girls. Child Development, 29, 491–501.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Kahn, A., Leventhal, R., Kahn, S. & Brown, W. (2002). Severity of depression and response to antidepressants and placebo: An analysis of the Food and Drug Administration database. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22, 1, 40–45.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004714-200202000-00007
  36. Kirsch, I., Moore, T. J. & Scoboria, A. (2002). The emperor’s new drugs: An analysis of antidepressant medication data submitted to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Prevention & Treatment, 5, Article 23. Retrieved July 26, 2004, from journals.apa.org/prevention/volume5/toc-jul15-02.html.Google Scholar
  37. Kravitz, R. L. Epstein, R. M. Feldman, M. D., Franz, C. E., Azari, R., Wilks, M. S., Hinton, L. & Franks, P. (2005). Influence of patients’ requests for direct-to-consumer advertised antidepressants. Journal of the American Medical Association, 293, 1995–2002.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.293.16.1995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Landy, D. & Sigall, H. (1974). Beauty is talent: Task evaluation as a function of the performer’s physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29, 299–304.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0036018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lewinton, R. C. (1991). Biology as ideology: The doctrine of DNA. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  40. Lewinton, R. C. Rose, S. & Kamin, L. J. (1984). Not in our genes: Biology, ideology and human nature. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  41. Lucey, J. E. (Ed.). (2003) Pediatrics, 112.Google Scholar
  42. Lykken, D. T., McGue, M., Tellegen, A. & Bouchard, T. J., Jr. (1992). Emergenesis: Genetic traits that may not run in families. American Psychologist, 47, 1565–1577.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.47.12.1565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Midkiff, D. & Wyatt, W. J. (2005, May). A hard look at the “biological causation” rhetoric: The Marshall Project, one year later. Poster presented at the Association for Behavior Analysis, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  44. Mind Freedom (2003, July 28, August 12, 22, September 26). Fast for freedom in mental health. Retrieved December 22, 2003, from https://doi.org/www.mindfreedom.org/mindfreedom/hungerstrike1.stml.
  45. Mullen, P. E., Linsell, C. R. & Parker, D. (1986). Influence of sleep disturbance and calorie restriction on biological markers of depression. Lancet, ii ,1051–54.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(86)90463-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mussen, P. H. & Jones, M. C. (1957), Self-conceptions, motivations, and interpersonal attitudes of late- and early-maturing boys. Child Development, 28, 243–256.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Nelson, B. (1982, November 2). Psychiatry’s anxious years: decline in allure; as a career leads to self-examination. New York Times, p. C1.Google Scholar
  48. Owen, M. J. & O’Donovan, M. C. (2002). Schizophrenia and genetics. In R. Plomin, J. C. DeFries, I. W. Craig & P. McGuffin (Eds.), Behavioral genetics in the postgenomic era (pp. 463–489). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  49. Phelan, J. C. (2002). Genetic bases of mental illness—cure for stigma? Trends in Neurosciences, 25, 430–431.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-2236(02)02209-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pincus, H. A., Tanielian, T. L., Marcus, S. C., Olfson, M., Zarin, D. A. & Thompson, J. (1998). Prescribing trends in psychotropic medications: Primary care, psychiatry, and other medical specialties. Journal of the American Medical Association, 279, 526–531.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.279.7.526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Psychiatry names task force to stop more psychologists RxP. (2005, January/February). The National Psychologist, 14, 1,3.Google Scholar
  52. Rubin, R. (2004, October 12). How did Vioxx debacle happen? USA Today, p. 1D,2D.Google Scholar
  53. Rubin, R. (2005, March 3). “Too cozy’ with drugmakers? USA Today, p. 9D.Google Scholar
  54. Sagar, A. & Socolar, D. (2001). Drug industry marketing staff soars while research staffing stagnates. Report. Boston University School of Public Health, December 2001.Google Scholar
  55. Sarason, I. G. & Sarason, B. R. (2002). Abnormal psychology: The problem of maladaptive behavior (10th ed.). New York: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  56. Schiller, L. & Bennett, A. (1996). The quiet room: A journey out of the torment of madness. New York: Warner Books.Google Scholar
  57. Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  58. Small, G. (2003). The memory bible: An innovative strategy for keeping your brain young. New York: Hyperion.Google Scholar
  59. Sommers-Flanagan, J. & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (1996). Efficacy of antidepressant medication with depressed youth: What psychologists should know. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 27, 145–153.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.27.2.145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tresniowski, A., Rozsa, L. & Brass, K. (2002, October 7). Finding daylight: NFL star Ricky Williams breaks free of the anxiety disorder that nearly ruined his life. People, p. 103.Google Scholar
  61. Uttal, W. R. (2001). The new phrenology: The limits of localizing cognitive processes in the bbrain. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  62. Uttal, W. R. (2004). Hypothetical high-level cognitive functions cannot be localized in the brain: Another argument for a revitalized behaviorism. The Behavior Analyst, 27, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Vaczek, D. (April, 2003). Top 200 drugs for 2002. Pharmacy Times. Retrieved July 26, 2003, from https://doi.org/www.pharmacytimes.com/article.cfm?ID=338.
  64. Valenstein, E. S. (1998). Blaming the brain: The truth about drugs and mental health. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  65. Walster, E., Aronson, V., Abrahams, D. & Rottman, L. (1996). The importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 508–516.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0021188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Watson, P. (1981). Twins: An uncanny relationship? New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  67. Wong, S. E. (2005, May). Biomedicalization of social problems: New conquests of the pharmaceutical industry and implications for behavior analysis. Paper presented at the Association for Behavior Analysis, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  68. Wyatt, W. J. (2003, May). Biological causation in the professional and popular cultures: Tactics for dealing with an oversold model. Paper presented at the Association for Behavior Analysis, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  69. Wyatt, W. J. (1993). Identical twins, emergenesis, and environments. American Psychologist, 48, 1294–1295.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.48.12.1294.bCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Young, A. & Adams, C. (2003, November 2). ‘I hate what they did.’ Prescribing drugs off-label is routine, but the practice can kill patients. Charleston Gazette-Mail, p. 1A.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© W. Joseph Wyatt & Donna M. Midkiff 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marshall UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations