What produces mental illness: genes, environment, both,neither? The answer can be found in memes-replicable units of information linking genes and environment in the memory and in culture-whose effects on individual brain development can be benign or toxic. This book reconceptualizes mental disorders as products of stressful gene-meme interactions and introduces a biopsychosocial template for meme-based diagsis and treatment. A range of therapeutic modalities, both broad-spectrum (meditation) and specific(cognitive-behavioral), for countering negative memes and their replication are considered, as are possibilities for memetic prevention strategies. In this book, the author outlines the roles of genes and memes in the evolution of the human brain; elucidates the creation, storage, and evolution of memes within individual brains; examines culture as a carrier and supplier of memes to the individual; provides examples of gene-meme interactions that can result in anxiety, depression, and other disorders; proposes a multiaxial gene-meme model for diagsing mental illness; identifies areas of meme-based prevention for at-risk children; and defines specific syndromes in terms of memetic symptoms, genetic/ memetic development, and meme-based treatment.
Hoyle Leigh, M.D. is currently Professor of Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, and Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychiatric Consultation-Liaison Program at Fresno Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California. He is the author of many professional books and journal articles, including the textbooks, Handbook of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, with Jon Streltzer, M.D., and The Patient: Biological, Psychological, and Social Dimensions of Medical Practice, 3rd Edition, with Morton F. Reiser, M.D. and Biopsychosocial Approaches in Primary Care. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSF, Dr. Leigh was Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, where he founded the pioneering Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic with Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., as well as directing the basic behavioral science course and the Psychiatric Consultation-Liaison Service at Yale New Haven Hospital. Dr. Leigh received his M.D. degree summa cum laude from Yonsei University School of Medicine in Korea, and completed residency training in psychiatry at University of Kansas Medical Center and the Montefiore Medical Center in New York.