1st Edition

Mental Illness and the Body Beyond Diagnosis

By Louise Phillips Copyright 2006
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Using real life case studies of people experiencing mental illness, this book identifies how bodily presentation of patients may reflect certain aspects of their ‘lived experience’.

    With reference to a range of theoretical perspectives including philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism and sociology, Mental Illness and the Body explores the ways in which understanding ‘lived experience’ may usefully be applied to mental health practice. Key features include:

    • an overview of the history of British psychiatry including treatments
    • an analysis of feminism and the way its insights have been applied to understanding women's mental health and illness
    • in-depth interviews with four patients diagnosed with mental illness
    • an outline of Freudian and post-Freudian perspectives on the body and their relevance to current mental health practice.

    Mental Illness and the Body is essential reading for mental health practitioners, allied professionals and anyone with an interest in the body and mental illness.

    Preface  1. Introduction  2. Lived Experience  3. Bodily Inscription  4. Women Speaking  5. Unspoken Distress  6. Psychosis  7. The Practitioner's Body  8. The Patient's Body  9. Developing Practice


    Louise Phillips is a lecturer in Mental Health at City University and a mental health nurse. She has practiced for the past 18 years in a variety of settings including elderly care, the voluntary sector and the NHS. Immediately before starting her academic career, she worked for a number of years as a Community Psychiatric Nurse in the King’s Cross area of London. In addition to her nursing qualification she has a BA in European Cultural History and completed her PhD on approaches to the body and mental illness at the university of Kent at Canterbury in March 2003.

    This book will prove useful to any student of social theory attempting to grapple with diverse critical positions, and uses interesting case examples to illustrate how theory could be applicable. Jayati Das-Munshi South West Lambeth Community Mental Health Team. London UK