• Epidemiological studies show that prevention, not primarily treatment, appears to be the logical long-term solution to the mental illnesses. Past investigations reveal this particular group of diseases may fall into three etiological classifications: organic brain damage, individual stress, and what might be called group stress resulting from cultural patterns.
The prevention of somatic pathology is fairly well understood, especially where there is a single causative factor. The detrimental effects of individual stress might be obviated through much of our present-day knowledge of personality formation. It is in the area where social customs seem to be the dominating determinant of psychiatric illness, however, that new research is needed.