Psychology is a liquid field, which is another way of saying that the rules are constantly changing because it’s a fat bunch of educated guesswork.( Did you know that homosexuality was classified as a mental disturbance until the late 1980 s ?~ ATAGEND)
Add a bunch of legislators, movies, narcotic companies, and well-meaning armchair “experts” to the mix, and it’s no astound that the average person’s understanding of the field is full of delusions, junk logic, and comically flawed stereotypes that persist to this day. For instance …
# 5. Myth: Depression Is Just Brain Chemicals Stimulating You Dislike Your Otherwise Normal Life
Sometimes, in the course of trying to debunk one old harmful myth, we just replace it with another. For instance, society spent thousands of years treating clinical depression with advice that ranged from “Just lighten up, you pussy! ” to “Have another beer! ” Recently, we’ve get a much better understanding of chemical imbalances in the brain and help find lots of drugs that alleviate them to differing degrees. But, there is no good notion that can’t be taken to a stupid extreme. So, these days, any mention of depression is met with, “You merely have a chemical imbalance! Go see your doctor for pills! “
The unspoken implication is that depressed people are looking at their normal, happy life and considering a distorted gray haze instead. You know, like in that cartoon they prove on Tv 😛 TAGEND
You would be depressed, too, if you woke up one day and
realized you were a poorly describe circle .
Well, here’s the deal with depression: Nobody knows what the deal is with depression. Those drugs they advertise on Tv barely work better than placebos, but, strangely, placebos run pretty well. So do weird alternative treatments or workout — it varies from patient to patient. How does that make sense if it’s just an issue of balancing brain juices?
It’s because it is not that simple. For one thing, if you look at the causes and risk factors for depression, alongside the biological stuff( neurotransmitters, hormones ), you see things like “the death of a loved one, ” “being lesbian in an environment that isn’t supportive, ” and “chronic pain.” In other terms, sometimes people are depressed because “peoples lives” are depressing . If you have a friend who can’t get off the sofa because he lost his job and girlfriend in the same week, you’re not going to induce him feel better by telling him it’s all simply wonky brain chemistry. As one psychiatrist sets it, “One patient lost a husband to cancer, and medication may take the edge off of some of those emotions, but the process she necessitates is to work through the materials of sorrow. There’s not a pill for that.”
“I barely even remember what’s-his-face anymore! ”
In fact, numerous surveys suggest that depressed people are not only wholly was linked to reality, they’re actually more up to date than most. Depressed folks are consistently more realistic when it comes to predicting future events and have a better sense of the passageway of day than nondepressed people. It turns out, the inherent cynicism that comes with the condition results in an unusually level-headed and rational opinion of both themselves and the world around them. Psychologists call this depressive realism, and it is exactly as depressing as it sounds.
And no , we’re not fucking saying that depression is good because it builds you smarter. Things aren’t going to get better if you’re staring blankly at your bedroom ceiling for 16 hours out of the working day, contemplating the tragedies of modern life. We’re saying therapy doesn’t start and stop with a magical pill that’s going to somehow induce you OK with the fact that your best friend has a brain tumor and your landlord is threatening eviction. Those counseling sessions are intended to help you figure out how to cope with — and actually solve — your problems. Treatment advice includes things such as getting out of the house and stimulating friends — real-world things you actually have to do. If anything, the medications are there to give you enough energy to get up and do that stuff. But, determining a combination of treatments that actually work for you can take months or years or the rest of your life. It’s still largely a mystery.
“‘Warning: May Cause Suicidal Thoughts’ … That can’t be right.”
# 4. Myth: The Rorschach test Is A Trusted Diagnosis Tool
You’ve seen the Rorschach test in half of the movie or TV scenes intended to demonstrate just how nuts the crazy character is. The psychiatrist proves a series of cards with ink blots …
“I see that dude from Watchmen … The blue one.”
… healthy people insure a butterfly, crazy people insure a pair of crucified puppies, and everyone does their best not to laugh at the winged penis the ink blot clearly resembles. The notorious “show pictures of stains to people and figure out their every mental ailment” exam is a powerful visual and a handy, all-purpose diagnostic tool that seems nearly too good to be true.
The original version of the Rorschach inkblot test was conceived in 1921 by Swiss psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach, who may have based it on Klecksography , a parlor game that featured inkblot scenes. Herman started tinkering, and after some trouble( for example, “hes to” rework his exam from 15 to 10 cards because of the printing expenses ), he created the first version of his exam: a series of crude smudge cards that would trick schizophrenics into misidentifying obvious figures due to their predisposition to see freaky shit concealed within the mundane — kind of like look at this place a Magic Eye in a world of perpetual screaming.
Anyone else ensure a reptilian Gerald Ford in a sundress ?
There was just one small catch: Rorschach had specifically designed the test to detect typical schizophrenic symptoms, which consist of a reasonably narrow various forms of defective reasoning or hallucinatory confusion. However, when his colleagues find his method, every psych employee got, uh, psyched and started hurling more and more refined versions of Rorschach’s cards at every type of mental illness. This turned out to be the medical equivalent of pooping in the sink — while technically in the same general region, it was by no means the correct procedure.
The first strike against the Rorschach test came in the late 1960 s. A psychologist named John Exner compared the five most used scoring systems for the inkblots and discovered that they had given wildly different ratings to the same person . The methodology was so flawed that essentially all the tests ever performed in the last four decades were scientifically useless. Exner did soon introduce his own, refined version of the test, but even this Rorschach system boasts a ridiculously high positive-error rate( approximately 50 percent of the subjects will be slapped with a “distorted thinking” label) and is considered by many to be a relic that’s only utilized out of convenience and habit.
Pictured: legit scientific method, or the above the butt
selection wall at your local tattoo parlor ?
Also, there’s this: The Rorschach test is merely dependable if the patient isn’t able to study the cards in advance … which they have been since 1983, thanks to William Poundstone’s book Big Secrets and, subsequently, a little thing called Wikipedia. The cards — along with their most common interpretings — have been available to practically anyone for at least as long as the Space Jam webpage has been around, which essentially pisses all over the last remaining tatters of the test’s credibility.
# 3. Myth: Hypnotism Is Merely A Goofy Stage Trick
We hope you realize by this stage in your life that hypnotism as it’s portrayed in Tv proves/ cartoons is, in fact, silly bullshit( “When you awake, you are able to think you are … A CHICKEN! HA! Look at him go, ladies and gentlemen! ” ). But, believe it or not, hypnotism is actually a legitimate psychiatric treatment technique. You simply need to basically forget every single Jafar’s scepter pop culture interpretation of the practice you’ve ever seen.
Nobody is utilizing it to indoctrinate folks, induce strangers in the audience to shit in their pants, or to kill Conan the Barbarian’s mother( though we still reserve the right to believe that James Earl Jones is a powerful sorcerer ). Instead, it’s a tried-and-true therapy method where certified psychiatrists induce hyperalertness, a superenhanced various kinds of relaxed concentration, in a strictly therapeutic capacity.
Not pictured: a certified psychiatrist .
Here’s how real hypnotism works: When a patient is placed into a fully conscious and mindful state, they can better visualize their memories or other issues and to continue efforts to get a grip on trauma, anxiety, shame, or other ailments. The employs range from combating substance abuse issues and obesity to treating PTSD and even combating irritable bowel disorder. Yes, hypnotism can be used to treat bad poops.
Western medicine has regarded hypnotism with interest since at least 1846, when surgeon James Esdaile, after his time in India, reported it could be used as a amazingly effective anesthetic tool. Farther studies on surgical patients have consistently claimed that hypnosis can alleviate anxiety to a massive degree, to the point where the patient, indeed, needs a vastly reduced sum of actual anesthetic( although, few physicians would recommend that you try to go through surgery use nothing but a mental image of lying in a dew speckled meadow ).
“OK, for this next proportion, think of a basket full of newborn puppies. Trust me.”
# 2. Myth: Birth Order Dictates Personality Traits And Intelligence
Quick: Picture a person who’s the eldest child in the family. Opportunities are, you’re considering an industrious, perhaps a little bossy, achiever type — someone used to keeping their siblings in check. Likewise, you would probably imagine a middle child as a peace-making moderator type and the youngest as a spoiled little rebel, drowning in parental indulgence like Jaden Smith. Don’t feel bad — the “personality traits dictated by birth order” stereotype is a super common one, all the more because many professionals support it. And why wouldn’t they? It makes perfect sense.
So, of course, it’s complete and utter bullshit.
The theory was first introduced in 1920 by one of the leading psychotherapists of the era, Alfred Adler. He theorized that the arrival of a second or third child would unavoidably leave an impression on an eldest child, who would feel usurped or replaced. The only problem was, Ol’ A.A. never bothered to actually test his hypothesis and back it up with any evidence.
“Do you want to maybe just say this worked and be done with it? I wanna get lunch.”
In the 1970 s, psychologist Robert Zajonc took that notion and ran with it, until he came up with confluence theory — the idea that the results of school tests could be predicted by how many firstborns, second-borns, and so forth were taking the test, suggesting that the children’s IQs differed according to their birth order. Of course, modern thinkers know this is nonsense, quoting Mufasa and the clearly more intelligent Uncle Scar from the respected scientific periodical The Lion King as evidence. But, at the time, people accepted Zajonc’s interpretation.
Finally, in 1989, demographer Judith Blake performed an extensive analysis of birth rank and exam scores to find a pattern that would confirm Zajonc’s ideas. She found that whatever correlation there was between the students’ birth orders and test scores could easily be attributed to family-background factors. More lately, two separate surveys performed in both Germany and the U.S. in 2015 showed that the supposed intelligence gap between the oldest child and their siblings is mathematically insignificant. As for personality traits( and flaws )? While some researchers have found correlations between an outgoing, independent personality and growing up with few or no siblings, birth order definitely doesn’t dictate those, either. That honor goes to a little something called genes — and how often your parents forget your birthday.
“They remembered the dog’s. It’s the same day.”
# 1. Myth: Mental Ailments Form Inside Your Brain — Nobody Can Give You One
Half of what sucks about a mental disturbance is that you suffer it alone — it sets up camp inside your skull, and the vast majority of the person or persons you pass on the street will have no idea you even have it. But, that’s also the only good thing we can say about mental illness — can you even imagine a world in which your brain problems were actually contagious? Well, they totally are, and we don’t simply mean “hanging around a depressed person will bring you down, too.”
Imagine a group of people collecting together in higher and higher concentrations, until they abruptly choose to mingle with a different, previously isolated community — say, the popular kids in a 1980 s high school movie suddenly deciding to socialize with the nerds. Soon, the nerds find themselves exposed to the various, previously unfamiliar insecurities and issues of the cool group. Before you know it, person gets infected, and abruptly, Mean Girls is a documentary.
Now, imagine this happening on a city-wide and even global scale. Actually, you don’t need to imagine it, because it’s actually happening.
Except for that component. That’s not going to happen .
Science doesn’t wholly understand why it happens, but the brain-hopping tendencies of mental disorders can apparently be blamed on the fact that most of us live in cities now: Urban dwellers have far more brain malfunctions( up to and including schizophrenia) than their rural equivalents. Some of the most likely rationales are the increased loneliness, stress, and cognitive load of city life; excess dopamine, thanks to the constant stimulation( excessive levels of dopamine in the brain can be indicative of schizophrenia ); or even the aircraft noise generally links with larger cities. Some analyses seem to suggest that the rise in urban area autism and schizophrenia may be related to unchecked exhaust and pollutants.
Dubbed the “Bluehouse Effect, ” by us, right now .
Or, maybe it’s all of those things. What we do know is that rubbing elbows with your fellow humans in a dense urban environment is a breeding ground for the crazies. In some especially stressful situations, depression symptoms was in fact spread in a similar manner to the common cold, transmission via close personal contact with those already suffering from similar issues. Human brains are wired to be social, so it’s not that weird that our malfunctions can spread invisibly from one person to the next. Much of what you call your “mind” is just the sum of your interactions with the outside world. And if the world is nuts, well …
You then choose you’ll just stay home, at which point you find out that social isolation is one of the main symptoms/ causes of depression, and your doctor will tell you to get out and meet people. So, we guess … just make sure those people are all in perfect mental health first? Hey, make them take a Rorschach test!
Let’s go ahead and clear up any other bullshit you might have stuck in your head. Just check out The 27 Weirdest Lies That Everyone Believed and 22 Lies You’ve Probably Read Online( Rewritten For Accuracy ) .
Read more: www.cracked.com