It sounds like a stupid question but it isn’t. Why can’t we just fix mental illness? Simply, our present paradigm is wrong.
We moved from the Medical Model (when did you last hear the accurate term ‘mental disease’?) to the psychiatric one (which isn’t one at all, really, since they patch up symptoms and call it a day). It was supposed to be the other way around but the lure of profit and the over-inflation of chemical solutions (and humiliatingly stupid, simple theories like ‘depression is caused by insufficient serotonin’) have conspired to create it. It should’ve been the opposite. Symptom to cause. Cause to cure. Cure to prevention.
We should have fewer and fewer disorders of the mind each year. Instead we have more in an ever-expanding lexicon where most people become mentally abnormal, a mathematical impossibility. It’s profiteering from the creation of suffering and it certainly isn’t science, which cuts the chaff.
The current paradigm is tainted and informed by politics. We no longer have a paradigm of the mind. The modern paradigm is informed by what is politically correct. Not that correctness, per se, but a more subtle one that dresses up in ethic’s clothing (human rights! respect my feelings! even when my feelings are insane!) while breaching larger ethical issues themselves (such as drugging and operating on children’s genitals). If enough people object, the psychiatrists cave to the public peer pressure of their clients, who have all the money and none of the sense. Their testimony is used in a court of law to justify common whim. It’s terrifying.
The brain is distinguished as the organ defined by its history. A blank brain is a broken brain. Arguably, our biological lifespan is defined by our growth and complexity of this organ. It isn’t car parts.
Taking the moral issue of Should We? fix it, which has dystopian applications given government control over these areas and past lobotomization of innocents (such as those rebelling or awaiting a large inheritance) and considering the Theseus Ship problem. Considering how much ‘wrong’ in the brain is structural, how much of the structure could or should we replace? [Bear in mind, these structures are destined by genetics.]
The postmodern evil is to consider all situations relative and become impractical and impotent.
It’s afraid to be a science. Smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer, that’s a correlation! It weasels and worms into your personal life. It’s afraid of offending anyone, it’s afraid of stating the truth and it’s especially afraid of curing its repeat customers.
A better comparison would be genetics. Just because you can read them (Rosetta Stone Problem) doesn’t mean you understand them (like the author). If we start tampering and randomly throwing out what appears to be ‘junk’ (junk DNA is a myth) then like all the failures of social engineering (9/10 easily) we will make the problems unimaginably worse from hubris. They refuse to wait. They refuse to fully understand the thing they’re chopping away at. They are not scientists and they should not be allowed within 500 yards of any scientific establishment. If they were to be held criminally responsible for what they do that would be something. Nobody should be above the law.
This also pertains to the Qualia Problem, look it up. And the supposed Hard Problems like consciousness. We have all these stories, these myths of the mind that are unfalsifiable as Freud yet he is disregarded while the latest, trendiest theories are respectable. It’s madness.
There are no First Principles of the Brain and there should be.
Going back to the dumbarse explanation of depression. What is depression? Where’s the medical test? Why not? OK, assuming it is serotonin levels, why doesn’t supplementation work? What about diet? What about generative cell implants? No? Why does none of that work?
Psychiatry has no theories.
Psychiatry has pets.