Interesting and significant article on genetics

I love reading this stuff:

I find it interesting that they never quite find the gene for so-called schizophrenia. The genetic studies for anorexia that claimed to find the gene for it were funded by the pharmaceutical companies. Why? Because they wanted to make a drug for it. Oh great! Were you coerced into that study, too? Their findings were not as conclusive as they claimed.

Do you know anyone who did that ancestry dot com test? I have always figured there was no validity to it, especially after my friend told me her test showed there was a tiny percent of Ashkinazi Jew in her. I didn’t say anything, but since when is there a gene for that?

No, we definitely do not want to go down this road.

7 thoughts on “Interesting and significant article on genetics”

  1. Are you opposed to research studying genetic underpinnings of “psychiatric conditions”?

    Just interested in what you think of the usefulness/meaningfulness of such research.

    1. That is a good question! I think there are many problems with this research. One of them is that they sometimes recruit so-called “bipolars” or “schiz” or other diagnosed group and try to do some genetic study on them. This assumes way too much already. We have seen with our own eyes these diagnoses given in haste and also, given with much bias. I have personally seen psychiatrists diagnose every patient on the ward with “bipolar,” and then, drug them all with the exact same drug. Or diagnose all women on the ward with “personality disorders.” Many of these supposed disorders are drug-induced. And of course, we see major problems with the diagnosing of children as “ADHD” just for fidgeting. These group designations can’t possibly be accurate in the first place. So how can they draw any sort of accurate conclusions? It’s a best, a total waste of money, and at worst, a recipe for disaster.

      1. Ok. So the problems you see with genetic studies are not exactly those concerned with the “what the hell do you suppose such a study would be useful for?” question. You question directly the accuracy of diagnosis underpinning the research instead.

        While I’d agree with quite a bit of your argument, it unfortunately seems to me that the situation is more complex. To sum up my point, I think your argument of blurry categories carries on to a criticism not only of psychiatry but of related disciplines such as sociology.

        Which raises many issues in my mind.

        However, here’s one it should perhaps raise in yours: Sociology can be a great tool to investigate medicine and “mental health” itself. For instance, observing the doctors interact with patients, including the way they use diagnosis the way you described, would be a sociological question.

        What I fear is that, if we make too quick arguments on criticizing psychiatric science, it could backfire and cut off legitimacy from other sciences that should be here as a counterpower to psychiatric science and practices.

        1. Exactly! The field of sociology has criticized psychiatry and related disciplines and has harshly criticized the labeling of children by so-called “behavior specialists” in schools. Occasionally, studies are indeed useful. I try to avoid citing them in my own writing, though.

          Some of the folks who criticize psychiatry use their credentials as some kind of way to prove their credibility. This, in my opinion, needs to be done cautiously. On one hand, it can very effective as an expose. You could say, “In a training, they encouraged us to lie to our patients…” and so on. On the other hand, to use credentials to say something like, “I know all about children because I’m a former child therapist,” is counterproductive. It’s legitimizing an illegitimate lens through which to see humanity.

          We must be careful not to make blanket statements. By all means, I am guilty of this, too. I’ve been combing through my book manuscript and trying to weed out any generalizations that might serve to discredit myself.

        2. So here’s a thought. There is a field of sociology of science, where there are awfully good things and awfully bad things.

          I believe we should aim at a rationalist critique of psychiatry (and medicine). I’d therefore attempt to maximally lobby rational sociologists (because there are ubercranks in that field) to undertake empirical studies of psychiatry.

          Would you be on board with such an idea?

        3. It does sound like a great idea. Sociology, journalism, those that practice legitimate sciences including legitimate medical practices, veterinarians, parents, teachers who haven’t swallowed the Kool Aid, and let’s not forget librarians, who believe in Freedom of Speech. My friend was trying to mobilize the Catholic church also. His plan was amazing.

Feedback and comments welcome!