Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) as Keepers

  • C. A. Soper
Part of the Evolutionary Psychology book series (EVOLPSYCH)


This chapter looks for psychological and behavioral phenomena that match the design specification of keepers detailed in the preceding chapter. If they exist, they should not be hard to find because of the predicted strangeness of keeper responses: triggered by intense and chronic emotional pain, keepers should reduce the motivation for suicide by moderating the aversiveness of the experience, and/or they should impair the capability to carry out suicide by attenuating psychomotor energy, decision-making, and other general intellectual faculties. The components and signature outcomes of the keeper specification are observed in a number of compulsive human responses to emotional pain, in symptoms of depression, addiction, psychotic delusions, self-harm, and other common mental disorders (CMDs), states that occur alongside heightened suicide risk. The closeness of the fit between the a priori design and observed form suggests that some CMD symptoms may, in fact, be evolved anti-suicide mechanisms.


Suicide Evolution Human evolution Natural selection Keeper Depression Addiction Alcoholism Anxiety Delusion Psychosis Schizophrenia Non-suicidal self-harm CMDs Common mental disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Soper
    • 1
  1. 1.Private PracticeLisbonPortugal

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