SY321 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: American Psychiatric Association, Mental Disorder, Neurosis

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27 Jan 2013
Medical labelling and time:
-medicine, power and culture
-earlier era, much of deviant behaviour was labelled evil
-therefore, it was punished and chastised by the law, clergy, family and community
-today, they are treated in a detox center
-requires you to withdraw from the deviant behaviour
-someone who is prone to violent rages is medicated w/ drugs
-someone who overeats today gets therapy and sometimes surgery
-this person would be called a glutton in the past
-today, heroin addicts are put on methadone
-substitute for heroin
-in the past, they were blamed for the condition
-today when people do deviant acts, they are described as unable to help themselves
-in the past people were responsible for their deviance
-today, they are not responsible (involuntary deviance)
-thus what used to be bad is now labelled as sick
-when medicalize deviance, they say that the person is the innocent victim of social forces
-deviant behaviour is increasingly controlled under medicine and psychiatry
How? ex. Mental illness
A mental illness labelling and delabelling:
-psychiatry has been doing this since the beginning of the 20th century
-vast changes have taken place over the last century
-only very thin line separates science from politics when it comes to mental illness
-politics today defines what is mental illness and what is not
-interest groups: influence the way in which psychiatry has labelled and delabelled mental illness
Ex. Homosexuality
-before 1974, it was considered to be a psychiatric disorder
-not based on medical evidence
-written up on the DSMdiagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (psychological)
-they then suddenly removed homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder
-probably the reason they had it in the first place was because of discrimination and prejudice
-why did they delabel it??
-condition did not disappear
-in 1974, the condition was more widespread and public than before
-therefore, when the condition became more visible, psychiatry stopped labelling it as a mental
-gay and lesbian activists started to lobby the DSM and thus were able to lobby the DSM
-able to exert pressure on the psychiatric community
-sought to destigmatize (remove the label) and successfully lobbied the psychiatric community
to remove it from the DSM
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