Towards a functional model of mental disorders incorporating the laws of thermodynamics

George Murray, Karen McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The current paper presents the hypothesis that the understanding of mental disorders can be advanced by incorporating the laws of thermodynamics, specifically relating to energy conservation and energy transfer. These ideas, along with the introduction of the notion that entropic activities are symptomatic of inefficient energy transfer or disorder, were used to propose a model of understanding mental ill health as resulting from the interaction of entropy, capacity and work (environmental demands). The model was applied to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and was shown to be compatible with current thinking about this condition, as well as emerging models of mental disorders as complex networks. A key implication of the proposed model is that it argues that all mental disorders require a systemic functional approach, with the advantage that it offers a number of routes into the assessment, formulation and treatment for mental health problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-547
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


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