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Challenging Psychiatry’s Reliance on the Disease Model. A New Take on Diagnosis, Pathology and Disablement

ISBN: 9781032704258
ISBN: 9781032704258
Διαστάσεις 23 × 15 cm



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This volume critiques and challenges the use and promotion of the disease model in psychiatry, arguing that its misconceived approach prevents the preferred disablement model from becoming the default method to understand mental health conditions, including schizophrenia.

Featuring first-hand experiences as well as qualitative and quantitative findings, the book posits that mental illnesses are an expression of disablement, not disease, and that the alternative disablement approach (already being applied in the psychiatry of neurodevelopmental disorders but applicable to mental illness, too), allows for greater dignity and autonomy for the patient, collaboration between medical professionals, a replacement of categorical approaches with more appropriate dimensional ones, and a liberation from the restrictive idea of a ‘cure’. Initial chapters of the book summarize the now overwhelming evidence that disease model is flawed, as is the simplistic materialism that psychiatry has built around the concept of the brain as kind of standalone biological computer. Later chapters consider the currently existent alternatives to the disease model, and puts forward the evidence for a psychiatry based on the person, as described by the philosopher Heidegger amongst others.

This volume will appeal to researchers, scholars, postgraduate students in clinical psychiatry, mental health research, and psychotherapy. Psychologists and clinicians active in research or teaching in mental health will also benefit from this volume.






Chapter 1. The origins of psychiatric disease theory


Chapter 2 Materialism as a symptom


Chapter 3 Does diagnosis always label a disease?


Chapter 4 Investigating psychiatry’s preoccupation with disease


Chapter 5 Why genomic medicine will not apply to psychiatry


Chapter 6 Prescribing the cure


Chapter 7 Neurodevelopmental disorder as a model for every mental health condition


Chapter 8 Widening the neurodevelopmental model to the whole of psychiatry


Chapter 9 A Possible New Future for Psychiatry