Too much money is spent researching biological factors for mental illness when it is mostly caused by life events, psychologists have warned. So says an article in today’s Daily Mail
The article states that effects show up biologically, say, in the brain or in genes. And suggests that the event is the cause of this effect, not the other way round.
But the psychologists have it wrong too and back to front: behaviour is an effect too. All they’ve noticed is an interesting correlation between events and people’s behaviour, but that’s all. And just because you can make a correlation between some things does not mean it’s a cause. Cause and effect only work one way, and 100% of the time, and for all people.
For example, it’s psychologists suggest that obesity is created by the availability of fast food. But how does that explain anorexia, when people with anorexia are exposed to fast food too? It doesn’t.
It’s not events or circumstances that cause trauma or behaviour – for that to be true then everyone would have to have the same reaction to the same event or circumstance, when everyone has a unique experience.
Here’s the thing: it’s how we show up to events or circumstances that effects our response, not the event causing an effect in us. People with high levels of well-being will show up as resilient compared to those with low-levels of well-being. (And similarly well-being isn’t caused by events or circumstances. Although, that was recognised on page 3 of the influential UK Government sponsored NEF report 5 Ways to well-being, it still ignored this and fell back to interesting correlations, resulting in £Billions spent on well-being interventions that produce confusing results!!!)
Realising that we are the creator of our experience of the event, not the event creating our experience is the biggest and most liberating insight you can have: It’s always YOU that’s behind all of your experience.