Pardon me, but What a fucking twit. (via oursin)
I would like to force this asshole to live with the contents of my skull--or the contents of the skulls of anybody else I know with bipolar disorder or OCD--for one (1) calendar year, without benefit of cognitive strategies. His article reveals a basic ignorance of the causes of mental illness and the relevance of neural plasticity to treatment of same. The benefit of cognitive therapy is that it physically alters the structure of a malfunctioning brain to make it work better--as physical therapy can physically alter a damaged body to make it stronger and healthier.
I have neurochemical issues that are the result of genetics and neurochemical issues that are the result of trauma (bipolar, PTSD, various less trendy neuroses). and you know, I understand the roots of those issues with a fine and nuanced understanding. And you know what? Understanding the cause of the damage, while comforting, is not really useful at all to being a happier and more productive person. It's like understanding that you were in a car accident that severed your arm. While it's essential to treatment to understand the cause of the trauma, talking about the damned car accident doesn't help you learn to operate a prosthesis.
What is useful is having strategies to deal with it when my brain chemicals are going haywire, and other strategies with which to reprogram the thought processes and in turn modify the underlying hardware to make both healthier.
Cognitive strategies work. They have an empirically measurable effect on the brain. They make people's lives better.
If this interferes with Mr. Leader's entrancement with Teh Romance And Tragedy of mental illness, well, I invite him to enjoy his Romance And Tragedy. Hopefully without screwing up anybody else's chances for recovery.
I bet he's a Freudian. I just bet.