Once Again: CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION

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I tried, ya’ll. I tried so hard. Before I took a personal break from this blog, before wordpress updated everything and my tags went wonky, before Trump figured out he can give executive orders and still have them banned, I told you all very, very blatantly, very calmly and collectively that my hatred for the industry had ceased. That I would focus more in my career and life on expanding and integrating Peer Support services.

I told you all that this blog would no longer be a clusterfuck of my sarcastic droning on people like Alex Gorksy or that guy on his team who wanted to put lollipops in packages of Risperdal for children.

I kept my promise.

Until now.

There is a textbook that has set my brain aflame. My skin has rotted away from words in this textbook. My brain started fucking my rectum because of words from this textbook. I ripped out my own eyes, stuffed them in my ears, and ate fifteen poisonous frogs when I heard words from this textbook.

This college textbook:

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Fuck you, Pearson, and Your 14th Edition

No classroom should ever, ever have a student read a textbook for a health science class with a mental health section as sloppy and bullshit as this one. It’s like the authors wrote all the things they’ve been told about mental health from their super conservative, super gullible, super fucked-in-the-head second cousins all twice removed who all like to staple their heads for YouTube views who thought just because they read an article on google scholar, that they knew the complete biological, environmental, and genetic causes of these things labeled mental disorders.

But, no, it gets better. Oh it gets so much better.

I don’t hate on any textbook, article, or person who believes in the medical model of psychiatry. I understand that it’s the widespread belief, I understand that there’s been research (and that the research has been warped and twisted with lies for the sake of money), and I certainly understand that until there’s more widespread research proving otherwise, people will continue to believe they are sick and defective for life.

However, a textbook that promotes this and attempts to, quite literally, discredit every other form of research is one that should, along with the authors, be stabbed, maimed, thrown in a hole, pissed on by someone with Gonorrhea, then burned.

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And of course they make the most misunderstood, most feared, most confusing, and most stigmatized “mental disorder” their fucking scapegoat for their shitty view of mental health.

This, people, is why stigma exists. Books and classrooms based on this viewpoint are literally the reason stigma exists.

Let me give you some quotes and then discredit the shit out of them with actual credible sources. #Karma, bitch.

First, their definition of schizophrenia was pretty typical. “A psychological disorder that affects about 1 percent of the U.S population”. Yada, yada, heard it all before, right?

They go on.

“For decades, scientists believed that schizophrenia was a form of madness provoked by the environment in which a child lived” (mostly blamed on the mother back then), and “they blamed abnormal family interactions or early childhood trauma.”

Another true statement. They go on.

Basically, MRI and PET scans “[allowed] scientists to study brain function more closely; based on that knowledge, schizophrenia was found to be a biological disease of the brain. The damage occurs early in life, possibly as early as the second trimester of fetal development. Fetal exposure to toxic substances, infections, and medications have been studied as a possible risk, and hereditary links are being explored.”

And it continues.

“Even though theories that blame abnormal family life or childhood trauma for schizophrenia have been discarded in favor of biological theories, a stigma remains attached to the disease.” Then they go in to talk about how the families of people with schizophrenia need extra support.

If none of that really bothers you (YET, wait for it), “support of loved ones and access to therapy [helps] many schizophrenics lead normal lives”.

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Wonderful. Let’s all give this piece of shit book a big round of “a-fuck-you”.

I will not promote the idea that children develop schizophrenia from fucked up mothers. If that were true, a lot more people would, as this textbook would say, “be schizophrenic”. I also refuse to promote this strange idea that we are 100% certain this is a disease.

Because the research is very, very faulty. They’re doing comparative studies, in which they study the brain of someone who already hears voices, sees things, and has cognitive problems, compares them to someone who doesn’t and then says that depleted white matter, or that so called “abnormal” level of dopamine is,  a result of the disease of schizophrenia. The problem? You couldn’t possibly know if “schizophrenia” caused that, or the depletion of the brain matter or the abnormal dopamine or whatever caused it. Basically, you still don’t know shit. Waste of time and money.

Unless your’re big pharma and can cash big on telling people they have an incurable disease that no amount of TLC can ever, ever relieve, no amount of support or activity in life will ever, ever relieve. Medication will correct your brain abnormalities. Because you’re defective.

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*COUGH COUGH*

Correlation is not causation. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. If you did not study these brains of these children– many, many children, not just 18, that’s not a large enough sample size if you’re trying to define a fucking disease–from the time they were born until the time they developed characteristics of schizophrenia, than you know absolutely nothing about how the brain develops.

In fact, you’d need to study them prenatally.  All those risk factors that you hear about? The flu? All that? You know what they are? HYPOTHESES. It’s called the NEURODEVELOPMENT HYPOTHESIS. They’re not facts, they don’t even have enough agglomerate, valid, credible research to be called a THEORY! They’re hypotheses. Hypotheses with experiments that:

“… provided evidence consistent with an association between second-trimester exposure to influenza epidemics and schizophrenia; further investigations, however, some of which were larger and featured more complete case ascertainment, failed to replicate the association. While similarly designed studies of other infectious agents have suggested potential relationships with schizophrenia, the effects have been generally weak, and few replication attempts have been made” (1)

You know what you need in research to publish a real study? To be credible? REPLICATED EXPERIMENTS.

You can read that publication if you wish to learn about the other risk factors that apparently had a slightly more correlational effect. But once again, CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. BASIC PSYCHOLOGY 101.

Check all the studies you want: Trauma has never, ever been discarded as a major catalyst towards the development of any mental health issue. Never. Not. Once. In fact, it’s never even been studied to a great extent. I have not found, in my search of databases of empirical articles at least, one article that specifically disproves that trauma of any kind changes the physicality and mental state of your brain. How much do you want to bet that it does? 

If none of these reasons disturb you about what our future health students are learning about health, than at least be pissed off they said “schizophrenics”. Come on. That’s so 1980.

If you’re going to make a bold claim of a mental health problem solely being biological, at least have the facts and the research to back it up.

(1): Brown, A. S., & Derkits, E. J. (2010). Prenatal Infection and Schizophrenia: A Review of Epidemiologic and Translational Studies. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(3), 261–280. http://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09030361

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