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Diseases of the Mind

This is a quote from “Decartes’ Error” by Antonio Damasio:

The distinction between diseases of the “brain” and the “mind”, between “neurological” problems and “psychological” or “psychiatric” ones, is an unfortunate cultural inheritance that permeates society and medicine. It reflects a basic ignorance of the relation between brain and mind. Diseases of the brain are seen as tradgedies visited on people who cannot be blamed for their conditions, while diseases of the mind, especially those that affect conduct and emotion, are seen as social inconveniences for which sufferers have much to answer. Individuals are to be blamed for their character flaws, defective emotional modulation, ans so on; lack of willpower is supposed to be the primary problem.

This statement seems to sum up much of the attitudes of “nons” (including therapists) with respect to BPD. Damasio goes on to show strong relationships between brain function and mind states.

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