A Universal Definition of Mental Disorder: Neither Necessary nor Desirable

Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 28 (4):377-379 (2021)
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Abstract

Psychiatry's relation to the rest of medicine is ambivalent. Its legitimacy as a specialty is often conceived as being closely linked to its fidelity to the fundamental paradigms of medicine, especially the centrality of diagnosis and the association of diagnosis with treatment indications. However, as Gagné-Julien notes, a major impetus behind the quest for a solution to the demarcation problem in psychiatry is "growing concerns regarding over-medicalization". Although it could appear that these two considerations point in opposite directions, both arguably would be served by what Gagné-Julien labels "a satisfying definition" of mental disorder. Such a...

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