Journal of Medical Humanities 29 (4):243-259 (2008)
With the increasingly close relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) there has been a growing tendency in the mental health professions to interpret everyday emotional suffering and behavior as a medical condition that can be treated with a particular drug. In this paper, I suggest that hermeneutic phenomenology is uniquely suited to challenge the core assumptions of medicalization by expanding psychiatry's narrow conception of the self as an enclosed, biological individual and recognizing the ways in which our experience of things--including mental illness--is shaped by the socio-historical situation in which we grow. Informed by hermeneutic phenomenology, psychiatry's first priority is to suspend the prejudices that come with being a medical doctor in order to hear what the patient is saying. To this end, psychiatry can begin to understand the patient not as a static, material body with a clearly defined brain dysfunction but as an unfolding, situation existence already involved in an irreducibly complex social world, an involvement that allows the patient to experience, feel, and make sense of their emotional suffering.
|Keywords||psychiatry, medicalization, phenomenology, hermeneutics, Heidegger, Gadamer|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct.Thomas Stephen Szasz - 1962 - New York: Harper & Row.
Re-Envisioning Psychology Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice.Frank C. Richardson, Blaine J. Fowers & Charles B. Guignon - 1999
Hermeneutics, Authenticity and the Aims of Psychology.Charles Guignon - 2002 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):83-102.
The Missing Dialogue Between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty: On the Importance of the Zollikon Seminars.Kevin A. Aho - 2005 - Body and Society 11 (2):1-23.
Citations of this work BETA
Medicalization, Demedicalization and Beyond: Antisocial Behaviour and the Case of the Dutch Youth Law.Dorothee Horstkötter, Wybo Dondorp & Guido de Wert - 2015 - Public Health Ethics 8 (3):284-294.
Dis-Ease or Disease? Ontological Rarefaction in the Medical-Industrial Complex.S. Scott Graham - 2011 - Journal of Medical Humanities 32 (3):167-186.
Medicalization, Demedicalization and Beyond: Antisocial Behaviour and the Case of the Dutch Youth Law: Table 1.Dorothee Horstkötter, Wybo Dondorp & Guido de Wert - 2015 - Public Health Ethics:phv018.
Medicalized Psychiatry and the Talking Cure: A Hermeneutic Intervention. [REVIEW]Kevin Aho & Charles Guignon - 2011 - Human Studies 34 (3):293-308.
The Psychopathology of American Shyness: A Hermeneutic Reading.Kevin Aho - 2010 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 40 (2):190-206.
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