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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 15, 3rd Quarter 2000


Mental Illness and the Mind-Body Problem


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The stuff of love, I'm hearing rumors,

May comprise a hundred humors,

Numerosity enough

To call reductionism's bluff

And yet permit analysis,

When things go wrong, of what's amiss.

óTheodore Melnechuk

" There is no mental illness," writes Thomas Szasz in a recent article in Reason, repeating for the nth time his mantra of the past four decades. " Bodily diseases-pneumonia, cancer, and so on-are real," he told the interviewer; "but mental diseases are metaphoric diseases, in the sense of a 'sick' joke. They are problems, but they are not medical problems in that they do not involve somatic, organic etiologies and are not amenable to a somatic, organic resolution. They are essentially conflicts within oneself and conflicts between oneself and other people."2

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