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Saving Abnormal: the Disorder of Psychiatric Genetics


Book Summary

Since the genetic/hereditary theory of mental illness was first proposed, it has resulted in harm to both individuals and to the cultures in which it has been accepted. Yet, the theory is believed to be an altruistic and necessary approach to the human soul/psyche. What is sure, however, is that people are in dire need of genuine hope and solid answers to deal with their mental, emotional, and behavioral struggles. 

The current paradigm and sustained narrative continuously offer hope that understanding about the human mind/soul will soon be realized and valid remedies potentially discovered through understanding the human body. But a careful examination of what is claimed to be medicinal and empirically sound reveals an entirely different reality—a reality which explains why people in mental turmoil and society as a whole are getting worse rather than being healed within the current psychiatric phenomenology. In this book, Saving Abnormal, the reader will discover the shocking history, underlying philosophies, pseudoscience, and alternative approaches of the failed genetic theory of mental illness that remain so popular today. Because it is clear that “abnormal” needs to be saved, Saving Abnormal carefully considers some crucial questions that lead the reader to practical answers.

By tracing both the eugenic theory through its short history and by exposing the key figures and their tenets of psychiatric phenomenology, Dr. Berger illuminates the sobering reality that, though renamed, the currently held genetic theory of mental illness was also the foundational faith that led to the Holocaust. If psychiatric categories of healthy and unhealthy cannot be created and propagated, as psychiatrists Emil Kraepelin and Ernst Rudin applied in Nazi Germany, then alleged categorical “abnormal”/”disordered”/”degenerates” cannot be suggested or fit into a medical model or claimed to be scientific.

The hereditary theory of mental illness, first asserted by the father of American psychiatry, Benjamin Rush, and thereafter formalized into a system by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, today, dominates the care of souls globally and shapes people’s own self-perception of their souls and interpretations of human phenomena. Sadly, this bio-psycho-social worldview is significantly deepening the chaos in society, worsening mental and behavioral issues in individuals, and stigmatizing those who desire and need help. Now is the time to reconsider and replace the destructive neo-Kraepelinian genetic paradigm, and Saving Abnormal provides the necessary commencement. 



“Dr. Daniel Berger II is a detailed scholar and gifted writer. In Saving Abnormal, he elucidates the socio-political, philosophical, and unscientific underpinnings of the Kraepelinian genetic theory of mental illness. He does not stop at critique, but brings us to a biblical perspective and biblical hope. This is an excellent read for those interested in the roots of the DSM and psychiatric diagnoses.” - Dr. Jenn Chen, MABC, Psy.D., MAMFT, Adjunct Professor for The Master's University in Biblical Counseling, Former Clinical Instructor at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

“In this important book, Dr. Berger clearly exposes, what is said to be, the ‘science of psychiatric genetics’ to be a philosophical approach—’a religion’—rather than an empirically driven reality. From my own perspective, as both a seasoned professor of translational medicine and as an experimental biologist and geneticist, it seems that the field of ‘psychiatric genetics,’ in its essence, should be understood as a ‘philosophy of psychiatric genetics.’” 


Despite the propaganda stating otherwise, we know very little about the human genome at both the molecular and functional levels. In the OMIC-era of genetics (e.g., genomic, transcriptome, methylome), we are still looking to identify genetic signature for valid diseases (e.g., cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes) and to understand the molecular determinants shaping the final product of genes and their functions. It is amazing that, while we fail even to quantitatively identify the cause and effect of measurable normal and organic-diseased phenotypes of humans, the whole array of psych-related professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, psychologists, neuro-psycho-biologists, pharmaceuticals) rush to genetics in attempt to explain and justify their approaches and current treatments for most all mental, emotional, and behavioral struggles. Yet, as Dr. Berger exposes, many of the psychiatric constructs, which psychiatrists claim to be genetically caused, consist primarily of metaphysical phenomena, which cannot be approached within the scientific method. Moreover, simply correlating bodily systems does not validate the theory that the human genome somehow creates these phenomena. 


One will also discover in Berger’s important work that the genetic theory of mental illness has not helped people who are mentally struggling throughout its history. In fact, as is well-documented, the genetic theory of mental illness has consistently worsened societies and humanity as a whole in which it is has been accepted. I encourage every physician, clinician, counselor, pastor, and social worker to consider the facts presented in Saving Abnormal.” - Dr. Shahriar Koochekpour, MD, PHD., Professor of Biology and Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biologist, Translational Researcher on Cancer Drug Discovery and Targeted Therapy



“In Saving Abnormal, Daniel Berger once again brings his intellectual excellence, impeccable scholarship, gracious heart, and passionate desire for the truth to be known to the fore. Saving Abnormal is a critically important and closeup view of the history of modern psychological theory, tracking its origins and following its trajectory as it blossomed from atheistic pseudoscience into the world-dominating religion that it is today. Daniel Berger demystifies the origins of racism, social injustice, and the never-ending reclassifications of ‘mental illnesses.’ Doctor? Therapist? Attorney? Judge? Social worker? Case worker? Been diagnosed with and medicated for a mental disorder? Love someone who has?  This is a must-read book for you.” - Dr. Warren G. Lamb, Ph.D., Th.M., Director of Truth in Love Biblical Counseling and Training Center, Vice President of the International Association of Biblical Counselors

“Saving Abnormal may literally save lives by giving hope and therapeutic approaches previously denied or hidden by the limitations of traditional psychiatry. Dr. Berger outlines the history of psychiatric constructs over the last several hundred years influencing today’s treatments and failures. He goes well beyond the Neo-Kraepelinian bio-psycho–social model. I would dare to say he is speaking of surgery of the soul, which removes and repairs what is necessary for true healing. The double-edged scalpel of God’s Word penetrates both sides of the dualistic model of man and the constructs of modern psychiatry which so easily entangles. Many fixed false beliefs may be removed by the truth in this book. Dr. Berger writes clearly with a great amount of academic research to show us a better way.” – Dr. Roy Hobbs, MD, FRCSP(C), FACS, Surgeon



“One of the most exciting times in a baseball game is the grand slam home run. It is even more exciting if it is a “walk-off home run.” When it comes to writing books, Dr. Daniel Berger II has smashed a grand slam home run in, what may well be, his most critical book to date. Though while hoping this is not Dr. Berger’s “walk off” book, Saving Abnormal is perhaps one of the timeliest books of our day. It is informative. It is educational. It is undeniably factual, and it confronts a false belief system within the psychiatric world.  


Many have assumed that the eugenics of Nazi Germany died with Hitler and his regime. But as Berger exposes, these assumptions are unfounded. The same philosophical underpinnings of the eugenics of the 30’s and 40’s has simply slid under the proverbial radar—disguised with new labeling. The core philosophy of the eugenics of the Nazi’s is alive and well. This book ought to be read by every psychiatrist, every psychologist, every psychotherapist, every neurologist, every Christian counselor, every Biblical counselor, etc. It is a landmark book that addresses a critical mindset that has a grip on the psychiatric world and readers would do well to ponder deeply the contents therein.” - Blake  Shaw, Counseling Ministries Pastor at Grace Bible Church, Bozeman, MT 



“This is a must-read book for pastors and Biblical counselors who want to understand the impact of reducing metaphysical issues to being explained and addressed through the doctrine of materialism. This mindset has influenced so many in the Christian Community and it must stop. This book is masterful in educating us on the history, impact, and solutions to this issue. I truly appreciate the scholarship that went into writing this book. Thank you, Daniel, for your work.” - Dr. Nicolas Ellen Senior Pastor of Community of Faith Bible Church Houston, Texas, President of Expository Counseling Center LLC., Houston, Texas, and Senior Professor of Biblical Counseling at the College of Biblical Studies, Houston, Texas. 



“Have you wondered what “abnormal” is and why it needs saving? Dr. Daniel Berger walks the reader through an accurate yet disturbing history of psychiatry and the birth of abnormal. How was ‘normal’ decided? Even more perplexing is how did these ‘normal’ treatment providers inflict such inhumane treatments? Be cautioned, by reading this book you will be forced to re-evaluate your own, once seemingly foundational, beliefs of mental health. This is a book about faith; {spoiler alert} science is not foundational to the history of psychology. Science is nevertheless widely used as an antagonist to Christianity. Much like this successful marketing, which insinuates that the field of psychiatry is supported by empirical scientific data, this is just one of many lies most of us have succumbed to believe. Dr. Berger gives the reader solid research through primarily secular sources to challenge these faulty presuppositional beliefs that we have accepted as sound science. Science is not opposed to faith, and psychiatry is not a science. Saving Abnormal is not just a rebuttal to humanistic psychiatry, it also provides a more reliable alternative. The genuine solution resides with our Creator – the One who makes all things, understands our fallen mental state, and provides the remedy through Jesus Christ.” - Greg M. Cintron, LMFT, MST, Marriage, Family and Child Therapist, Serving Combat Military and Sexual Trauma Victims, OIF Airborne Infantry Combat Medic, EMDR Provider


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