Robert Berezin, MD

Psychiatrist and author of Psychotherapy of Character:
The Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain

The Major Fallacy of Neuroscience is that The Brain is a Computer Stuck on Top of a Body

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There is a major fallacy in neuroscience about the brain that of all things has ascended to the status of belief – that the brain is a computer stuck on top of a body, that it is an experimental machine that anticipates, guesses, and self corrects. It is as if the brain is an experimental scientist that makes educated guesses, does its computations, and then tries again to figure out correct information. Computers operate via an incredibly fast system of computations based on 0’s and 1’s. This is a powerful way of information ordering which can create incredible order. But… Continue reading

It’s Time to Address the Marijuana Issue. To put it simply, “What are we thinking?”

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It’s time to address the marijuana issue. To put it simply, “What are we thinking?” The substance abuse epidemic is so incredibly destructive to the well-being of our society – to our children, our adolescents, as well as adults. It is problematic enough to deal with the hard drugs – heroin, cocaine, etc.; prescription drug abuse – the opiates, amphetamines; never mind the psychiatric pharmaceuticals- the antidepressants, benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, etc.; and of course alcoholism. While we are going to great lengths to curtail cigarettes and nicotine, we are legalizing marijuana which is far more destructive. We in the psychiatric,… Continue reading

Where the Wild Things Are and Where They Belong, As much as we loved our Parrot, Lulu, we learned a wild bird should not be a pet.

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​One day as I stepped into the kitchen from my home office I heard my wife calling me, “Bobby.” Still preoccupied with the patient who had just left I mumbled “What.”

​”Bobby”

“What?”

And then again she said “Bobby!”

​Now exasperated I said “What.”

​”I love you.” …And then I knew it was the bird.

Lulu our blue front Amazon parrot had Nancy’s voice. She had Nancy’s laugh. In fact, once they got going (and it didn’t matter who started it) they kept going. Nancy made Lulu laugh which made Nancy laugh which made Lulu laugh, which made me laugh… Continue reading

Reflections on Geel – Schizophrenia is not a Medical Disease. Human beings with schizophrenia do best with care and respect.

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Thank you Charles Triance for sending me this beautiful article, “The Geel question, For centuries, a little Belgian town has treated the mentally ill. Why are its medieval methods so successful?”, by Mike Jay. He depicts a caring, human environment where individuals with schizophrenia have been taken in by the families of this village for 700 years. They are called boarders and often stay as members of their adopted families for life, where they work on the farms and live as members of the families and community, albeit with their idiosyncrasies.

We have had enlightened periods in our… Continue reading

Dreaming and Wakefulness in the Theater of the Brain. Everything is a neurological illusion of consciousness

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By the time we are three years old the mappings in the limbic-cortex are sufficiently established to create a three dimensional representational play. This is how human consciousness is organized. It is composed of personas, feeling relationships between them, scenarios, plots, set designs and landscape. We can easily see this in dreaming. A dream is a synthetic illusion of a world, created in the theater of the brain. We go into REM sleep five times a night where a play is enacted on the dream stage. Since REM is a complete trance state, the dream hallucination feels real, and there… Continue reading

Addiction and Psychiatry are Not Diseases, A correspondence on the neuroscience of Addiction

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This is my response to a response to my response to a blog about the neuroscience of addiction and the disease question with a fellow Psychology Today Blogger. Check my initial blog, “Hoffman’s OD, Fallacies of Conventional Neuroscience.”

Dan,

I appreciate your thoughtful response to my response. I would like to elaborate as well. What is most central to my heart is that all human struggles are human problems and they are not brain diseases. There have always been two tracks in psychiatry – one is that suffering is a human problem, and the other is that it is a… Continue reading

Hoffman’s OD, Fallacies of Conventional Neuroscience. There is a better neuroscience paradigm

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I’m afraid I have to take issue with my Blog colleague Dan Mager in his article “Who Is an Addict?”  I have already addressed the disease fallacy in my own blog on Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And I won’t repeat it here. In my view this article is a good example of conventional neuroscience misunderstanding about the brain. And its implications are misleading. He informs us that brain imaging shows ‘physical changes’ in various areas of the brain along with various activated neurotransmitters. This means the brain is ‘changed’ and this is set in stone. The inevitable implication is… Continue reading

The Tragic Death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman is Very Sad. What can we learn from it?

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The tragic death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman has once again brought drugs back into public consciousness. His death is very sad. Life is precious. This is most pertinent to those who knew him and loved him. That does not include you or me. The only reason we even know about his death is because he was a celebrity. We do not know Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Some anonymous person dies a sordid heroin death just like his every two hours. It is happening right now as I write, and more will have died as you read. His death is not anymore… Continue reading

Robert Berezin, MD, psychiatrist and author of Psychotherapy of Character: The Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain

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© 2013 by Robert Berezin, MD