The spectrum of severe mental health disorders and astrological research – a beginning

Post by John Grove

This post comes from John Grove’s website, identifying corrrelations between mental health disorders and astrological psychology.

A continuum of Mental Health Disorders:

This article will explore the factors both environmental and genetic that lead to a sliding continuum of mental problems rather than discrete disorders. The medical model has been imposed upon mental disorders which has rules for categories of separate disorders. This dictates which medications are used and which add to the stigma of mental illness by pathologizing the diagnoses. The medications have difficult side effects which turn my clients to homeopathic treatments like cannabis, alcohol, and other remedies with fewer side effects.

Nature and nurture:

I am departing from these diagnostic category biases by bringing astrology into consideration which has implications as to the genesis of these disorders (karma?, genetics?, the birth trauma?). The environmental factors which play a role in severe mental illness of schizophrenia are related to birth complications, particularly prenatal viral infection. (Cannon, et. al, 1993) Subjects also showed attention problems, especially problems in ‘tuning out’ incidental stimuli like the ticking of a clock (Hollister, Mednick, Brennan, &Cannon ,1994). Twin studies show that genetics contributes to familial resemblance for schizophrenia-48 % for monozygotic twins and 17% for dizygotic twins.

Bipolar disorder is stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5) to be an Affective or emotion regulation-based disorder and recent studies reveal it is a matter of severity; bipolar disorder may be a more severe form of depression (McGufn and Katz, 1986). Familial risk for bipolar disorder based on genetics in twin studies shows a .38 heritability and no shared environmental influence (Kender, Gatz, Gardner and Pedersen, 2006a). However, family studies show that more severe depression might be more heritable, a liability of 70% for unipolar relatives who do not have bipolar disorder.

Autism studies of monozygotic twins estimated at 60% heritability. Poor social interaction, language communication problems and restricted range of interests and activities. 80% heritability for each of the three types of symptoms but low genetic correlations between them.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHS) runs in families, with first degree relatives five times more likely to be diagnosed as compared to controls. (Faraone, Biederman and Monuteax, 2000). 76% heritability was computed for polled findings across 20 twin studies. (Faraone et al, 2005).

These above severe mental illnesses are historically distinct categories in the DSM-5 but recently they are seen as a spectrum of disorders by studies in Behavioral Genetics : the most severe is schizophrenia, then bipolar I, bipolar II, Autism spectrum disorders which are pervasive developmental disorders, then Major depressive disorder. Autism spectrum disorders have both genetic and environmental causes in which there are mutations of genes caused by environmental pollutants. (Metanalysis of Harvard Public School of health).

Astrological psychology correlates:

According to Peter Fraiss’s, M SC. research in Correlation, (published by the The Astrological Association Journal of Research in Astrology, London) there are aspects between natal planets which can be found more common in mental illness. Of particular interest being severe depression related to suicide completion. (Fraiss, Peter,MSc. Correlation 2020). Moon and Uranus aspects; Moon and Neptune aspects; Sun/ Moon and Pluto aspects; (Correlation, Volume 32, No. 2 p. 50)

I am a licensed clinical social worker and also an Astrological Psychology consultant using the Huber method. I have identified 5 clients who have come to me for psychotherapy or consultation who have a diagnosis of an affective disorder (bipolar and unipolar depression) and 1 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. All these clients are treated with medication (some are non-compliant with medication) and have psychotherapy treatment plans for their disorders. My own research shows that incidence of aspects and Huber aspect figures of Astrological Psychology provide anecdotal evidence of astrological aspects and aspect figures and mental strain/mental illness.

I have found that Uranus aspects to the Moon occur with 4 clients with affective disorders (unipolar depression and bipolar disorder). Two of which have irritation triangles characterized by oversensitivity and anger leading to over-exertion and exhaustion; Moon quincunx Neptune along with a irrigation triangle characterized by oversensitivity, anger leading to hectic over-exertion and exhaustion with one other; and Uranus square the Moon with a divided aspect structure (which shows two circuits of consciousness) occurs with one client who has schizophrenia.

The fact that these configurations are consistently found in clients’ birth charts with severe mental disorders is a given before the environment has effected them raises questions. Is the cause a genetic influence when a family history is taken? The fact is that we don’t know for sure. But genetics play a role maybe from 40-60% of the behavior of the person.

Featured image from Wokandapix at Pixabay, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons