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Reply #21: Psychology often works from correlative evidence not known mechanism [View All]

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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-24-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Psychology often works from correlative evidence not known mechanism
Edited on Mon Jan-24-11 11:02 AM by HereSince1628
That's an unfortunate truth. It's also true that although not ALL correlations are causative, SOME are, even if the psychological community hasn't yet figured out which.

The prevalence of exposure to chronic abuse and neglectful parenting is present in the overwhelming number of people who are diagnosed with PTSD-chronic aka cPTSD. Chronic abuse and neglectful parenting is highly correlated to borderline disorder, but not every abused kid becomes borderline or every borderline was abused.
This sometimes-but-not-always thing is certainly puzzling, certainly of research interest and undoubtedly important to understanding mental illness. It is why mental illness is seen as an outcome of mutlifactorial processes.

Consequently, with respect to treating the mentally ill much of psychological medicine doesn't deeply explore underlying mechanisms. Rather looks to changing outcomes regardless of the enigmatic causation. The primary correlations being sought in mental health clinics are high correlations between treatment methods and good treatment outcomes. The system thus produced does indeed seem to involve a lot of trial and error.


That not all children who are abused get borderline illness which manifests as self-cutting, suggests that borderline illness presents in multiple ways (based on the diagnostic symptoms, potentially over 196 different combinations!).

Complicating things in another way, some symptoms of mental illness like cutting in borderlines can result with equal finality from divergent psychological processes and probably different causes. Thus there isn't a strict one-cause one-effect in such problems.

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