Literary Critic on Mental Health

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I highly recommend Louis Menand in the March 1, 2010, issue of The New Yorker.

In part, Menand writes:

“Progress in medical science is made by lurching around. The best that can be hoped is that we are lurching in an overall good direction….The goal of biological psychiatry is to identify the organic conditions underlying the symptoms of mental distress that patients complain of….The hope is to establish psychiatry firmly on the disease model of medical practice….

“Many people today are infatuated with the biological determinants of things….People like to be able to say, I’m just an organism, and my depression is just a chemical thing, so, of the three ways of considering my condition, I choose the biological. The question to ask them is, Who is the ‘I’ that is making this choice? Is that your biology talking, too?”

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