Catalogue


What is mental disorder? : an essay in philosophy, science, and values /
Derek Bolton.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
description
xxviii, 303 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0198565925, 9780198565925
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
isbn
0198565925
9780198565925
contents note
The current diagnostic manuals : aims, methods, and questions -- The sciences on mental order/disorder and related concepts : normality, meaning, natural and social norms -- Mental disorder and human nature -- Clinical definition : distress, disability and the need to treat -- Boundaries and terminology in flux -- Some conclusions.
catalogue key
6368894
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [279]-292) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Derek Bolton Professor of Philosophy and Psychopathology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-02-01:
What is mental disorder? What is mental order? How does one assess normality and abnormality of mental ability? Is it important that health providers and researchers have a clear definition of mental disorder? Bolton (King's College London) sets out to rationalize these questions in his provocative work on norms (social and/or medical) and mental function. He presents his argument in clear parts that orient readers to a contemporary understanding of mental disorder and diagnostics before attempting to define normality, abnormality, and mental disorder in clinical, medical, and social terms. His analysis of madness and mental illness is overwhelmingly Foucauldian, but Bolton uses his knowledge and experience as a philosopher and his work in clinical psychology to incorporate a contemporary and clinical perspective of mental disorder. What emerges is an apparently clinical, medical, and social distinction of mental normality, but not of mental abnormality. His assessment assumes no clear line between normal and abnormal, not only in mental condition, but especially in mental condition. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners. M. L. Charleroy University of Minnesota
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This book provides an excellent discussion and philosophical critique of the use of the term 'mental disorder'...The book is cogent and well written. It is easily accessible and does not presuppose knowledge or education...This book will be useful to the inquiring mind that seeks to understand mental disorder from a wider perspective."-- The Psychologist "Highly recommended."-- CHOICE
"This book provides an excellent discussion and philosophical critique of the use of the term 'mental disorder'...The book is cogent and well written. It is easily accessible and does not presuppose knowledge or education...This book will be useful to the inquiring mind that seeks to understand mental disorder from a wider perspective."--The Psychologist "Highly recommended."--CHOICE
This book provides an excellent discussion and philosophical critique of the use of the term 'mental disorder'...this book will be useful to the inquiring mind that seeks to understand mental disorder from a wider perspective.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The effects of mental disorder are apparent and pervasive, in suffering, loss of freedom and life opportunities, negative impacts on education, work satisfaction and productivity, complications in law, institutions of healthcare, and more. This book tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries of mental disorder.
Long Description
The effects of mental disorder are apparent and pervasive, in suffering, loss of freedom and life opportunities, negative impacts on education, work satisfaction and productivity, complications in law, institutions of healthcare, and more. With a new edition of the 'bible' of psychiatric diagnosis - the DSM - under developmental, it is timely to take a step back and re-evalutate exactly how we diagnose and define mental disorder. This new book by Derek Bolton tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries of mental disorder. It addresses two main questions regarding mental illness. Firstly, what is the basis of the standards or norms by which we judge that a person has a mental disorder - that the person's mind is not working as it should, that their mental functioning is abnormal? Controversies about these questions have been dominated by the contrast between norms that are medical, scientific or natural, on the one hand, and social norms on the other. The norms that define mental disorder seem to belong to psychiatry, to be medical and scientific, but are they really social norms, hijacked and disguised by the medical profession? Secondly, what is the validity of the distinction between mental disorder and order, between abnormal and normal mental functioning? To what extent, notwithstanding appearances, does mental disorder involve meaningful reactions and problem-solving? These responses may be to normal problems of living, or to not so normal problems - to severe psycho-social challenges. Is there after all order in mental disorder? With the closing of asylums and the appearance of care in the community, mental disorder is now in our midst.While attempts have been made to define clearly a concept of mental disorder that is truly medical as opposed to social, there is increasing evidence that such a distinction is unviable - there is no clear line between what is normal in the population and what is abnormal. 'What is Mental Disorder?' reviews these various crucial developments and their profound impact for the concept and its boundaries in a provocative and timely book.
Long Description
The effects of mental disorder are apparent and pervasive, in suffering, loss of freedom and life opportunities, negative impacts on education, work satisfaction and productivity, complications in law, institutions of healthcare, and more. With new editions of the 'bibles' of psychiatric diagnosis - the ICD and DSM - under development, it is timely to take a step back and re-evaluate exactly how we diagnose and define mental disorder. This newbook by Derek Bolton tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries of mental disorder. These problems are evident now in many contexts: in the diagnostic manuals themselves, in epidemiological estimates of prevalence, in distinguishing normal sadness from depressive illness, forexample, or childhood temperamental traits from developmental psychopathology, and in mental health legislation and criminal law. In many ways these problems are contemporary expressions of those identified in the heated debates surrounding psychiatry in the 1960s and 1970s: does psychiatry pathologize what is really normal life suffering? Is mental illness really social deviance, not a proper domain of medicine? Is psychiatry really a form of social control? However,these original problems have been transformed by crucial developments over the past few decades, and the book seeks to update the position taking them into account. The last few decades have seen the closing of the asylums and the appearance of care in the community: mental disorder is now in our midst,intensifying the problems of the '60s and '70s. Attempts have been made to define clearly a concept of mental disorder that is truly medical as opposed to social, inevitably relying on the distinction between human nature and culture. In the science, there is increasing evidence that this distinction is unviable, and accumulating evidence that there is no clear line between what is normal in the population and what is abnormal. What is Mental Disorder? reviews these various crucialdevelopments and their profound impact for the concept and its boundaries in a provocative and timely book.
Main Description
The effects of mental disorder are apparent and pervasive, in suffering, loss of freedom and life opportunities, negative impacts on education, work satisfaction and productivity, complications in law, institutions of healthcare, and more. With a new edition of the 'bible' of psychiatric diagnosis - the DSM - under developmental, it is timely to take a step back and re-evalutate exactly how we diagnose and define mental disorder. This new book by Derek Bolton tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries of mental disorder. It addresses two main questions regarding mental illness. Firstly, what is the basis of the standards or norms by which we judge that a person has a mental disorder - that the person's mind is not working as it should, that their mental functioning is abnormal? Controversies about these questions have been dominated by the contrast between norms that are medical, scientific or natural, on the one hand, and social norms on the other. The norms that define mental disorder seem to belong to psychiatry, to be medical and scientific, but are they really social norms, hijacked and disguised by the medical profession? Secondly, what is the validity of the distinction between mental disorder and order, between abnormal and normal mental functioning? To what extent, notwithstanding appearances, does mental disorder involve meaningful reactions and problem-solving? These responses may be to normal problems of living, or to not so normal problems - to severe psycho-social challenges. Is there after all order in mental disorder? With the closing of asylums and the appearance of care in the community, mental disorder is now in our midst. While attempts have been made to define clearly a concept of mental disorder that is truly medical as opposed to social, there is increasing evidence that such a distinction is unviable - there is no clear line between what is normal in the population and what is abnormal. 'What is Mental Disorder?' reviews these various crucial developments and their profound impact for the concept and its boundaries in a provocative and timely book.
Main Description
The effects of mental disorder are apparent and pervasive, in suffering, loss of freedom and life opportunities, negative impacts on education, work satisfaction and productivity, complications in law, institutions of healthcare, and more. With a new edition of the 'bible' of psychiatricdiagnosis - the DSM - under developmental, it is timely to take a step back and re-evalutate exactly how we diagnose and define mental disorder.This new book by Derek Bolton tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries of mental disorder. It addresses two main questions regarding mental illness. Firstly, what is the basis of the standards or norms by which we judge that a person has a mental disorder - that the person'smind is not working as it should, that their mental functioning is abnormal? Controversies about these questions have been dominated by the contrast between norms that are medical, scientific or natural, on the one hand, and social norms on the other. The norms that define mental disorder seem tobelong to psychiatry, to be medical and scientific, but are they really social norms, hijacked and disguised by the medical profession? Secondly, what is the validity of the distinction between mental disorder and order, between abnormal and normal mental functioning? To what extent, notwithstanding appearances, does mental disorder involve meaningful reactions and problem-solving? These responses may be to normal problems ofliving, or to not so normal problems - to severe psycho-social challenges. Is there after all order in mental disorder? With the closing of asylums and the appearance of care in the community, mental disorder is now in our midst. While attempts have been made to define clearly a concept of mental disorder that is truly medical as opposed to social, there is increasing evidence that such a distinction is unviable -there is no clear line between what is normal in the population and what is abnormal. 'What is Mental Disorder?' reviews these various crucial developments and their profound impact for the concept and its boundaries in a provocative and timely book.
Main Description
The effects of mental disorder are apparent and pervasive, in suffering, loss of freedom and life opportunities, negative impacts on education, work satisfaction and productivity, complications in law, institutions of healthcare, and more. With new editions of the 'bibles' of psychiatric diagnosis - the ICD and DSM - under development, it is timely to take a step back and re-evaluate exactly how we diagnose and define mental disorder. This new book by Derek Bolton tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries of mental disorder. These problems are evident now in many contexts: in the diagnostic manuals themselves, in epidemiological estimates of prevalence, in distinguishing normal sadness from depressive illness, for example, or childhood temperamental traits from developmental psychopathology, and in mental health legislation and criminal law. In many ways these problems are contemporary expressions of those identified in the heated debates surrounding psychiatry in the 1960s and 1970s: does psychiatry pathologize what is really normal life suffering? Is mental illness really social deviance, not a proper domain of medicine? Is psychiatry really a form of social control? However, these original problems have been transformed by crucial developments over the past few decades, and this book seeks to update the position taking them into account. The last few decades have seen the closing of the asylums and the appearance of care in the community: mental disorder is now in our midst, intensifying the problems of the '60s and '70s. Attempts have been made to define clearly a concept of mental disorder that is truly medical as opposed to social, inevitably relying on the distinction between human nature and culture. In the science, there is increasing evidence that this distinction is unviable, and accumulating evidence that there is no clear line between what is normal in the population and what is abnormal. What is Mental Disorder? reviews these various crucial developments and their profound impact for the concept and its boundaries in a provocative and timely book. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. xiii
Synopsisp. xxi
The current diagnostic manuals: aims, methods, and questionsp. 1
Introduction and diagnostic criteriap. 1
The projects of description, classification, and diagnosisp. 2
The problem of psychological normality/abnormalityp. 7
Tension between reliability and validity of diagnosisp. 15
Criticisms of the mental disorder conceptp. 22
Functions, strengths, and limitations of the manualsp. 29
Summary and outstanding questionsp. 33
Annotated bibliographyp. 36
Appendix: some illustrations of DSM-IV diagnostic criteriap. 37
The sciences on mental order/disorder and related concepts: normality, meaning, natural and social normsp. 47
Introduction and overview of chapterp. 47
Sciences 'basic to psychiatry': psychology, genetics, neuroscience, medicinep. 51
Mind and meaning in the new behavioural sciencesp. 64
Varieties of explanation of disorderp. 70
Disorder in evolutionary contextp. 76
Social order, deviance, and mental illnessp. 82
Evolutionary psychology and social normsp. 91
Annotated bibliographyp. 96
Mental disorder and human naturep. 103
The legacy of the 1960s crisis: natural and social normsp. 103
Statistical normality and the idealization of the normalp. 111
Wakefield's evolutionary theoretic naturalism: statement and outline of problemsp. 116
Variety of causal pathways to psychopathologyp. 126
Evolutionary theory and the reliability of clinical diagnosisp. 131
Options for reliability and validity of diagnosis of disorderp. 134
Can evolutionary naturalism be used as a demarcation criterion?p. 139
Evolutionary psychology and social norms: implications for evolutionary theoretic naturalismp. 151
Summary: problems with naturalismp. 159
Annotated bibliographyp. 161
Clinical definition: distress, disability, and the need to treatp. 163
Definition of mental disorder in the psychiatric manuals - another lookp. 163
Harmful dysfunction in the phenomenap. 175
Mental disorder as breakdown of meaningful connectionsp. 182
Diagnosis and the need to treatp. 189
The domain of healthcarep. 193
Late- or post-modern views of mental health problemsp. 201
Summary and conclusionsp. 217
Annotated bibliographyp. 219
Boundaries and terminology in fluxp. 221
How to draw the line?p. 221
Psychiatry and social controlp. 224
Harmp. 228
Management of riskp. 233
Stakeholders in diagnosis and treatmentp. 237
Mental disorder in the communityp. 239
What's in a name?p. 247
Medicalization and other representationsp. 254
Summaryp. 262
Annotated bibliographyp. 265
Some conclusionsp. 267
Referencesp. 279
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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