Are we any closer to finding a cure for depression?

Some years ago, the Harvard psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg commented that, in the course of his lifetime, his discipline had swung from the brainless psychiatry propounded by psychoanalysts to the mindless psychiatry of those enamoured of biological reductionism and neuroscience.  Camilla Nord, who runs a neuroscience laboratory at Cambridge, is firmly a member of the latter camp. Though in a few places in The Balanced Brain she is driven to concede that social factors seem to play a role in mental health or mental distress, she immediately insists that ‘the process by which social factors are able to cause mental illness is entirely biological’. With the zeal of a true believer,

Mind games: the blurred line between fact and fiction

Readers of Case Study unfamiliar with its author’s previous work might believe they have stumbled on a great psychotherapy scandal. We’ve all heard of past psychiatric controversies — forced lobotomies, the incarceration of single mothers, false memory syndrome — and of R.D. Laing, whose unconventional techniques were not always beneficial to the patient. Well, here is Graeme Macrae Burnet, a Scottish writer whose His Bloody Project was shortlisted for the Booker in 2015, disclosing that after he wrote a blog piece about the once notorious, now largely forgotten, 1960s psychotherapist A. Collins Braithwaite, he was sent previously unseen notebooks written by a young woman who had been his patient. Burnet