Introduction to the Study of Mental Illness 9/7/16 What is Mental Health? o David Satcher – Surgeon General, “state of successful performance of mental function”, cognitive thinking, emotions, behavior, resulting in productive activities, interact with others, ability to adapt to change, cope with diversity o World Health Organization 2004 Two Approaches o Continuum – degrees of mental illness along the way o Discrete (opposites) – you either have a mental illness or you don’t have mental illness, medical or psychological, you need a certain number of criteria until you are diagnosed with something, DSM model How do we give meaning to a concept like mental illness? o Mental illness is as a culturally constructed meaning system. Mental Illnesses have meaning in four ways: (Meanings of Madness by R. Castillo1998, p. xiii) through the symptoms (indicator of an illness) through the cultural significance – create cultural entities, time and place are very important, stigma
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