Searching for a fundamental ‘particle’ of mental health

The discovery of the Higgs particle, which gives matter its mass, was a huge breakthrough for scientists since “confirming its existence was imperative to a full scientific understanding of the world,” and its has an equivalent that has yet to be found when it comes to mental health, forensic psychiatrist Erik Roskes writes for The Crime Report.

The equivalent of the “Standard Model” of mental health — Higgs plays an essential part in the “Standard Model” of physics — is a world in which “people are not penalized for their illnesses but rather than an array of tools from which to choose and which they can use to become mentally healthy,” Roskes writes.

Though those tools have not yet been identified, there are paths down which researchers are going to find them, including molecular and pharmaceutical research; psychotherapies and rehabilitation. Research has led to pharmaceutical approaches, “not perfect, but far preferable to a world without them,” he writes. It has led to cognitive therapy to treat depression, anxiety and, in some cases, psychosis. It has also led to advances in rehabilitation of mental illnesses and developmental disabilities like autism.

Like the search for the Higgs particle, finding its equivalent in the world of mental health is worth the search, Roskes concludes. (Read more)

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