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Information Technology Mental Health

Simplifying Psychiatric Disorders with Computing Science

People like Dr Peter Breggin who knows about what happened before the pharmacological revolution and Robert Whitaker are reformers of this industry. I hope one day I can reach that status too because this topic is close to my heart and we need people who care enough to reform things. Especially for the children.

I come from an information technology background and I try to apply those concepts to Psychiatry and I have had some success in simplifying some of the mess. There are modelling languages in computing science such as the Unified Modelling Language and the object oriented thought process. There is another one called the entity relationship model. I used these languages to develop generalizations and apply them to Psychiatry to simplify the over-complication in it.

One such generalization that I think took me over a year of contemplation I call the Pain class abstraction. If you are into art you will know that abstract things whether it’s in art or in other spheres of life make you think and provoke thought. They can be used to solve problems.

My pain abstraction states that every Disorder derives from one general disorder (pain). Why? because simply they are all a form of pain. In this way I simplified all disorders. Now pain has attributes and behaviours and because all Psychiatric labels are a form of pain I was able to generalize them. Check the picture below:

The Pain class abstraction developed using the Computing Science world

All Psychiatric Disorders in the DSM fall under and derive naturally from the above Disorder.

Let’s use the above pain abstraction as a template and fill it with Bipolar Disorder. Let’s consider my own case as of current.

Pain: Bipolar Disorder

Initiator: Myself

Initiation Method: Trauma

Responder: The people involved in responding are Psychiatrists, myself, family etc

Response Method: Very broad: mood hygiene, sleep hygiene, Sodium Valproate, diet, vitamin d, trigger prevention, stress management etc

Subject: Who was impacted by this form of pain? Myself

Manifestation Subject: Where does this pain manifest? It cannot be detected anywhere in the body so it goes under the category of Non-physical ailments. Therefore it manifests non-physically. I experience it, others don’t. It also gives thought to the fact that because it can’t be detected, it has made me realize that external entities contribute to my Bipolar such as societal stress.

Time period: How does this form of pain relate to the dimension of time? Is it intermittent? Is it a permanent illness? etc. Bipolar is known as the phantom disease because it’s symptoms can be regular or unpredictable and even disappear for years at a time. By generalizing the time aspect of Psychiatric labels we can do more than what is being done now in Psychiatry. Instead of saying and sticking onto the idea that Bipolar is a life long illness, we can say things like, “since it is known that this disorder can be intermittent and disappear for many years, can we really say it is incurable? how about we look deeper into the cases where symptoms didn’t return.”

Communicate: The bottom attribute “communicate” is a behaviour of pain. So how does bipolar communicate? This basically comes down to the symptoms (mania, depression etc)

Doing what I did above is useful because it has the power to help with quality control and error checking. By that I mean if new disorders come up in the future, we can have such abstractions act as a filter to aid in a form of control to prevent over-complication or inconsistencies. Unfortunately the DSM in my opinion is an unstable and changing document that in spite of the repeated revisions, is not doing much to lower our epidemic because if it was then statically this epidemic would be getting better but it’s getting worse.

We have been flooded by new diagnoses in the past and now Autism so when will it end? It’s time for a rethink in the way we do things. I am now working on a project to apply some of what I have learnt from Computing Science to simplify Psychiatry further in a way where users can engage with my website and use apps to simplify a lot the mess that is occurring because we need more practical stuff not just theory.

I hope that makes sense and so any feedback is appreciated.