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Broad-Spectrum Memetic Therapies

Chapter

Abstract

There is a massive multiplication of pathogenic memes in mental illness – the culprit memes may have been initially benign and beneficial, or symbiotic, or pathogenic but dormant. The massive multiplication of memes may be in the form of ideas (e.g., paranoid or obsessive), emotions (e.g., depressive or euphoric), worries, desires, and behavior. In treating infections by microorganisms, broad-spectrum antibiotics have been particularly useful as they target a broad range of organisms, i.e., regardless of the nature of the organism, the therapy can be effective. Similarly, there are broad-spectrum therapies that may be geared to suppressing a broad range of memes. Of course, as in the case with antibiotics, broad-spectrum memetic therapy may have the side effect of suppressing beneficial normal flora of memes as well. Broad spectrum meme-oriented therapy is geared to depriving the pathogenic memes of attention, affect, and thought and thus the neural reinforcement, thus interfering with their multiplication. Pharmacologic direct suppression of attention and cortical activity through sedation and sleep is one such therapy. Many patients on psychotropic drugs also report a blunting of their affect. Extant non-pharmacologic broad-spectrum meme-oriented therapies include such diverse techniques as relaxation training, meditation, hypnosis, bath, massage, music therapy, dance therapy, exercise, bibliotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. All these techniques have in common the focusing of attention on something other than the thoughts and feelings that are distressful, and thus the ability to suppress the multiplication of memes. In addition, certain memetic therapies such as music therapy may have such direct neurophysiologic effects as the release of BDNF.

Keywords

Electroconvulsive Therapy Music Therapy Relaxation Response Reading Material Massage Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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