What causes psychological disorders

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why so many people get it wrong

So many people , including some psychologists, believe that psychological disorders are totally random, are only caused by chemical changes in the brain and are tightly controlled by genes.

While genes can play a role in the development of certain personality traits they can hardly be of any effect if the external environment didn't allow them to manifest. And yes chemical changes in the brain can cause some disorders but unless certain environmental factors change then those brain chemicals are very less likely to change.

In other words so many people look for the superficial reasons behind disorders without getting deep enough to understand how they develop. Psychological disorders aren't by any means random and in fact they can even be predicted long before they happen by getting a deep understanding of the factors that promote them.

The ingredients of a psychological disorder

Sarah was a young and very attractive girl. Her father and mother always kept reminding her of the fact that she is extremely beautiful. Sarah grew up believing that she is gorgeous and that she can attract any person she likes very easily.

Sarah went into a relationship with a guy who hurt her badly after dumping her in front of her friends. The event was very devastating for her that she took many months to recover. Because she was too sensitive and not ready to handle breakups well the breakup left a scare that never healed.

Let me stop at this point and say that even though Sarah is still perfectly healthy two factors have already developed that could lead to a serious psychological disorder. The fact that she depends greatly on her looks for her self esteem and the fact that she will want to avoid any horrible breakup in the future are two ingredients of the psychological disorder that she will develop when things go wrong.

Sarah met another guy and got into a relationship with him but few weeks later the guy dumped her in a horrible way as well. Few days after the breakup Sarah started getting visions where she saw that she was chosen to save humanity from possible extinction. The dream was repeated over and over that Sarah totally believed in it.

After sometime she started seeing extraterrestrials in her room. They told her that they came here to tell her more about her noble mission. Sarah told everyone about that but nobody believed her and she was sent for treatment.

What happened here?

Because Sarah had a very big Ego her mind always ignored the signs that some people think that she is ordinary. In the same time that Ego fueled the belief that she can never be dumped no matter what happens.

The reason she never recovered from the first breakup is that her mind was unable to find an explanation for what happened. Shortly she blamed the guy for the breakup, called him crazy and so was able to survive until the next relationship.

When the second relationship collapsed her mind got devastated. Now she had evidence to show that she is a normal human or even worse a worthless person. Because Sarah used to believe that unattractive girls are worthless her mind made an assumption that she might be worthless as well.

But because that belief was too devastating to be accepted by her mind it had to find a way to make her feel superior to others. By believing that she is chosen and selected Sarah managed to feel superior once again. Sarah said that the aliens told her that they had to ruin this relationship using cosmic radiations in order not to distract her from her noble mission.

For outsiders Sarah seemed like a crazy person who saw things that never existed but for a person who saw the ingredients it was very clear that everything made a perfect sense.

She is now selected, chosen and even better she has a perfect explanation for the relationship that didn't work. She now knows the aliens did it!

I once got an email from a woman who said that she read everything about breakups including my breakups book but nothing helped her recover. After talking to her i discovered that she didn't want to accept the fact that she was dumped because that would let her believe that she is worthless. In such a case her mind found that it's better for her to believe that all people who give advice about breaks didn't really understand love than to believe that she was dumped.

The ingredients of Sarah's disorder & its treatment

Sarah developed that disorder because:

  • 1- She had a very big ego
  • 2- She believed that only worthless people get dumped
  • 3- She believed she is superior to other womem
  • 4- She was too sensitive
  • 5- She didn't want the past to repeat itself
  • 6- She wasn't brave enough to face relaity
  • 7- She used to read a lot about aliens and believed they exist

So how was Sarah treated?
The good news is that the more the factors involved in a psychological disorder the easier the treatment can be. Each of those factors acts as a pillar that keeps the disorder stable. Once one of those pillars is destroyed, or more than one pillar, then disorder can become unstable and collapse.

I believe i now made it clear why the checmical imbalance theory is too superficial to be considered when treating psychological disorders.

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