Yes, society affects the mind
In her fascinating article, Lorna Martin writes that her “medical records state baldly that I had mental health problems. But now I wonder how much was outof-synch brain chemicals and how much was caused by our psychologically dysfunctional society” (“Therapy gave me a voice and inspired a TV show”, Focus, last week).
These two explanations are not mutually exclusive: a dysfunctional society affects our bodies and brain chemicals in dysfunctional ways and our brain chemicals influence how we feel and interact with society. We are fundamentally networked creatures in constant biological and psychological communication with our surroundings. Brendan Kelly, professor of psychiatry Trinity College, Dublin