September 13, 2016 (I missed the first two classes because I just switched in) ● Mental illness is as a culturally constructed meaning system. Mental Illnesses have meaning in four ways: (Meanings of Madness by R. Castillo1998, p. xiii) 1. Through the symptoms (indicator of an illness) 2. Through the cultural significance 3. Through personal social relationships 4. Through the explanatory model ● Terminology proposed by Horwitz: (p14/15, Creating Mental Illness) 1. Mental diseases - are conditions where symptoms indicate underlying internal dysfunctions, are distinct from other disease conditions, and have certain universal features. 1. Keyword: internal dysfunction.
1. Internal psychological function; we expect human beings to be able to think (cognition), to feel, and to behave. 2. The medical model of a "disease of the mind" = something that's not working; if it's not working, it's dysfunctional. 2. Keyword: universal characteristics. 1. To some degree, illnesses may look alike 2. If someone can't think, feel, or behave, they would be expressing that w/ characteristics that would be similar in all ways we look. 3. We have hundreds of disorders that may not fit with one disorder - this is the issue. 2. Mental disorders - include all mental diseases as well as psychological dysfunctions whose overt symptoms are shaped by cultural as well as natural processes. 1. Overt symptoms are shaped by culture, as well as by natural processes 1. Natural processes = internal dysfunction. 2. This is where we get the concept that mental disorders are socially/ culturally constructed. 1. They're identified by the culture, not by something that would be universal by internal dysfunction. 2. Before '73, homosexuality was a mental disorder 1. Did they change their internal dysfunction? No. 3. I MISSED THIS WHOLE SECTION. 3. Mental illnesses - refer to whatever conditions a particular social group defines as such. (Mental illness refers to the actual labeling processes in any group and so cannot be true or false.) 1. Labels! (affect how the mentally ill are treated) 2. Depends on values on what we decide are a mental disorder/ mental illness. Mental Disorder ● DSM V states: (2013, p.20). ● A mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual's cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning. ● Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress or disability in social, occupational, or other important activities. ● An expectable or culturally approved response to a common stressor or loss such as the death of a loved one, is not a mental disorder. ● Socially deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) and conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are not mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict results from a dysfunction in the individual, as described above ● Breaking it down: 1.
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