Yes, so­ci­ety af­fects the mind

The Observer - - Comment & Analysis -

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

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