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Short Communication

PBS. 2014; 4(1): 34-7

The butterfly effect in psychiatry: a case example

Osman Özdemir, Pınar Güzel Özdemir, Ekrem Yılmaz.

The butterfly effect is that a small change at one place in a complex dynamic system can lead to large and unexpected consequences. In modern science, the theory can have applications in physics, mathematics, engineering, as well as biology, psychology, and cognitive science. The dynamic approach to cognition emphasizes the complex process of human development including mental, behavioral, neural and social systems interacting with each other over the life course. Emotion-related experiences as the result of interaction between person and his environment have been useful for explaining the butterfly effect in psychiatry practice. Here, we report a patient with depressive episode that has developed after psychosocial stress and has been treated with electroconvulsive therapy.

Key words: butterfly effect, complex dynamic system, human behavior, mental disorders, chaos theory

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