Self-concept through the diagnostic looking glass: Narratives and mental disorder

Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):357-380 (2011)

Authors
Şerife Tekin
University of Texas at San Antonio
Abstract
This paper explores how the diagnosis of mental disorder may affect the diagnosed subject’s self-concept by supplying an account that emphasizes the influence of autobiographical and social narratives on self-understanding. It focuses primarily on the diagnoses made according to the criteria provided by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and suggests that the DSM diagnosis may function as a source of narrative that affects the subject’s self-concept. Engaging in this analysis by appealing to autobiographies and memoirs written by people diagnosed with mental disorder, the paper concludes that a DSM diagnosis is a double-edged sword for self- concept. On the one hand, it sets the subject’s experience in an established classificatory system which can facilitate self-understanding by providing insight into subject’s condition and guiding her personal growth, as well as treatment and recovery. In this sense, the DSM diagnosis may have positive repercussions on self-development. On the other hand, however, given the DSM’s symptom-based approach and its adoption of the Biomedical Disease model, a diagnosis may force the subject to make sense of her condition divorced from other elements in her life that may be affecting her mental- health. It may lead her frame her experience only as an irreversible imbalance. This form of self-understanding may set limits on the subject’s hopes of recovery and may create impediments to her flourishing.
Keywords Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)  Looping Effects  Mental Disorder  Narrative  Psychiatry  Self-Concept
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.559622
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Overcoming Mental Disorder Stigma: A Short Analysis of Patient Memoirs.Şerife Tekin & Simon Michael Outram - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5):1114-1119.
How Does the Self Adjudicate Narratives?Serife Tekin - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (1):25-28.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Free Will and Mental Disorder: Exploring the Relationship.Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):429-443.
The Concept of Mental Disorder: A Proposal.Alfredo Gaete - 2008 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 15 (4):327-339.
The Concept of Mental Disorder and the DSM-V.Massimiliano Aragona - 2009 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 2 (1):1-14.
What is Wrong with the DSM?Rachel Cooper - 2004 - History of Psychiatry 15 (1):5-25.
Clinicians' Folk Taxonomies of Mental Disorders.Elizabeth H. Flanagan Roger K. Blashfield - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (3):pp. 249-269.
Emotional Disorder and Attention.Kent Bach - 1993 - In George Graham (ed.), Philosophical Psychopathology. Cambridge: MIT Press.
The Reality and Classification of Mental Disorders.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Chicago
Why the Mental Disorder Concept Matters.Dusan Kecmanovic - 2011 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 4 (1):1-9.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-03-19

Total views
647 ( #5,512 of 2,266,543 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
131 ( #3,562 of 2,266,543 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature