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Self-medication with mood changing drugs.
  1. D G Grahame-Smith

    Abstract

    The aim of this article is to examine some of the consequences of the recent advances in neurobiology in terms of the ability of drugs to manipulate the mind. Most laymen are totally ignorant of the general mechanism underlying the brain-mind relationship and therefore of the action of mind-altering drugs. Professor Grahame-Smith considers that one of the intrinsic evils of man's neurobiological make up is that a prime motive of the brain seems to be to bring comfort, security and pleasure for itself. Therefore it is not surprising that drugs - notably the barbiturates and more recently the benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) - have been prescribed to give to the brain that peace of mind that it seeks. However, it can be argued that such drugs cannot replace anxiety with peace of mind or unhappiness or depression with happiness. The action of such drugs upon the molecules of the brain is negative - a placebo effect.

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