N-Helix Model for Variants of Mental Illness

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Italian Psychoanalitycal Society SPI

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As in the DNA double helix, where the genetic identity of each individual is stored, exogenous and endogenous factors can produce potentially dangerous fractures.  However, a sophisticated repair mechanism is able to regenerate continuity in some 500,000 cells every day, preventing, for example, cancerous drifts or early forms of dementia. 

Something similar also happens in the double, triple, n-helix of mental life, where endogenous and exogenous factors can be the origin of both subjective damage, such as psychotic breakdowns, and dangerous social phenomena such as collective paranoid drifts, but also of withdrawals and more or less explicit forms of suicide.

The aim of the project (N-Helix Model for Variants of Mental Illness) is to identify variants of mental illness capable of producing personal and social fractures, to investigate the mechanisms by which these variants are generated today, and to strengthen reparative mechanisms for the future.

In particular, the project focuses on how this occurs in different groups, both social and ethnic, and in different countries, but has common, if not equivalent, characteristics. 

An integrated approach between neurobiological data and therapeutic practices could re-evaluate the mechanisms underlying empathy and the resulting social cooperation and connection.

So that the mixing of peoples and cultures that characterises this time, and which has often been the source of personal psychological distress, can once again become a factor that is potentially a source of enrichment (as happened in the past in certain countries such as the United States or Israel). 

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