Debunking Denialism

Defending science against the forces of irrationality.

Tag Archives: dualism

“That’s Just a Brain Disease!” – The Poverty of Anti-psychiatry Dualism

While having the same basic ideological base as vaccine rejectionism, anti-psychiatry has received considerably less attention in the skeptical community, some even going so far as to embrace it. It is hard to explain, but maybe it is the combination of the stigma associated with mental conditions, the complex and interdisciplinary nature of the area and political ideology, although like vaccine rejectionism, anti-psychiatry is not associated with any particular politics, but smeared out over many different groups.

A fairy standard tactic of anti-psychiatry is to outright deny the existence of mental conditions by claiming that there is no biological basis for their existence. They may preface their rejection of modern psychiatry by stating that, of course, they do not deny the suffering of the individuals, but that it is really no basis for psychiatry. While it is true that psychiatry is not as evidence-based as, say, physics or cardiology, it is still an area we should not neglect or dismiss out of hand. To be sure, there are improvements to be made, but don’t let us throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Anyways, the equally standard rebuttal by proponents of science-based medicine is to point to evidence of the biological basis of many of these conditions as well as discussing other conditions such as Huntington’s or Alzheimer’s that produce real psychological symptoms and detailing the biological background. Surely, we think, this would be enough to disprove their position.

Alas, this is where things start getting even more bizarre than normal: Read more of this post

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