Understanding Mental Disorders aims to help current and future psychiatrists, and those who work with them, to think critically about the ethical, conceptual, and methodological questions that are raised by the theory and practice of psychiatry. It considers questions that concern the mind’s relationship to the brain, the origins of our norms for thinking and behavior, and the place of psychiatry in medicine, and in society more generally. With a focus on the current debates around psychiatry’s diagnostic categories, the authors ask where these categories come from, if psychiatry should be looking to find new categories that are based more immediately on observations of the brain, and whether psychiatrists need to employ any diagnostic categories at all. The book is a unique guide for readers who want to think carefully about the mind, mental disorders, and the practice of psychiatric medicine.
Part I: Mental disorder 1.1 What is mental disorder? 1.2. What makes a mental disorder mental? 1.3. What makes a mental disorder disordered? Part II: Psychiatry and society 2.1. Two ways in which social factors can contribute to mental disorder 2.2 Are we changing people when we should be changing societies? 2.3 Sexuality and disobedience Part III: Dodging nosology 3.1 Psychiatric diagnosis 3.2 Psychiatry without diagnostic categories 3.3 Categories unlike chemistry's 3.4 Giving the brain no more than its due