The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity, and the Fruitless Search for Genes
What causes psychiatric disorders to appear? Are they primarily the result of people s environments, or of their genes? Increasingly, we are told that research has confirmed the importance of genetic influences on psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This timely, challenging book provides a much-needed critical appraisal of the evidence cited in support of genetic theories of psychiatric disorders, which hold that these disorders are caused by an inherited genetic predisposition in combination with environmental agents or events. In fact, the field of psychiatric genetics is approaching the crisis stage due to the continuing failure, despite years of concerted worldwide efforts, to identify genes presumed to underlie most mental disorders.
The belief that such genes exist is based on studies of families, twins, and adoptees. However, the author shows that these studies provide little if any scientifically acceptable evidence in support of genetics. In fact, researchers initial “discoveries” are rarely replicated. As this becomes more understood, and as fruitless gene finding efforts continue to pile up, we may well be headed towards a paradigm shift in psychiatry away from genetic and biological explanations of mental disorders, and towards a greater understanding of how family, social, and political environments contribute to human psychological distress. Purchase through Amazon