From the perspective of scientists and author, Stefan Lerner, M.D., “mental illness is actually the result of physical brain abnormalities, yet most people are still using misleading terminology”. To counter this very unhelpful and damaging misconception of the way in which mental health is categorized, Lerner has just brought out his excellent book, entitled: ‘The Treacherous Dichotomy: Physical Illness versus Mental Illness’ (Archway Publishing), which is available via Kindle, and in hard cover and paperback (358 pages).
Reaching For Higher Ground By Thinking Outside the Box
For Lerner, and many other professionals, not to mention the patients, and their family and loved ones: “the stakes are high, as the way people look at, label, and treat these illnesses has resulted in unnecessary suffering, symptomatology, disability and suicides”. Looking to radically transform the complex sphere of mental health, Lerner questions the current state of affairs by putting his concerns and recommendations down in writing. He makes the very important point that psychiatrists should in fact, be trained in a similar way to neurologists – the latter of whom concentrate on patients’ physical brain and associated pathologies.
Readers Are Asked to Be Part of the Effort
From Lerner’s standpoint, lay therapists are in a good position to provide psychotherapy to individuals suffering with mental health conditions. After all, he strongly believes that putting the “mentally ill” label on sufferers, suggests to the world that compared to physical illness, mental sickness is not as “real;” and that in order to deal with their issues, all the individual needs is an act of will. Lerner is very vocal about his strong sense that this negative labelling also stigmatizes sufferers; and that in many cases, this drives individuals more into their shells, as they do not want to seek help in case people find out; or they are made fun of, or thought less of, at work, for example.
The Bottom Line
Lerner calls upon scientific research, and stresses to his audience that: “The bottom line is the very concept of an illness being ‘mental’ is scientifically wrong. They must be reclassified as physical brain illnesses like neurological illnesses. This is the most effective way to reduce stigma and improve diagnosis and treatment”. He calls out to professionals and lay people alike, to join him in fighting this battle to right a wrong, as if the situation is rectified, it could have extremely positive implications for countless everyday people – not just in the US, but throughout the world. This is in addition to the psychiatrists, doctors, and all the other professionals within the mental health space.
More About Stefan Lerner, M.D
Lerner is a senior psychiatrist/physician, who has dedicated over 40 years of his life to helping patients. He is a member of the American Medical Association, and an American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology diplomat.