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Exam Note for Lecture 8 - Mental Health.docx

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Steven Hayle

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LECTURE 8 – Mental Health – The Role of Social Structure in the Social Construction of D + N Social Structure – can be just as important as social constructionism -patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals -social structures include family, religion, law, class, culture, and the economy (capitalism) -plays into objectivist perspective -resistant to change + enduring  doesn‟t mean they‟re not socially constructed though -haven‟t been around forever, so must have been created  can also change/evolve/disappear/etc. The Social Construction of Mental Disorder -Thomas Szaz – argues that mental „illnesses‟ are not real like cancers and other biological diseases. There are “neither biological nor chemical tests nor biopsy or necropsy findings for verifying or falsifying DSM diagnoses" -i.e. no objective measures for measuring the presence or absence of mental illnesses -i.e. socially constructed Cultural Concepts in the DSM - V -Ataque de Nervios  “Puerto Rican syndrome” – no equivalence in west -Characterized by uncontrollable screaming and/or shouting, crying, trembling, sensations of heat rising in the chest and the head, and verbal and/or physical aggression -Dhat Syndrome  found in the cultures of the INDIAN subcontinent -MALE patients report that they suffer from severe PREMATURE EJACULATION or IMPOTENCE, and they believe that they are passing SEMEN in their URINE -in traditional HINDU SPIRITUALITY, SEMEN is viewed as a “VITAL FLUID” -Taijin Kyofusho  rooted in JAPANESE and EAST ASIAN COLLECTIVIST CULTURE -fear of interpersonal relations, embarrassed about oneself + worried about displeasing others -“Sluggish Schizophrenia” – USSR -diagnosis most prominently used in the USSR with respect to „political dissidents‟ -had the function of turning political dissidence into a „medical disease‟ -believed that PSYCHIATRISTS who developed this DIAGNOSTIC concept were following orders from the COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT and the KGB SECRET SERVICE Mental Health around the Globe TODAY: -CHINA – only country which „abuses‟ psychiatry for political purposes in a SYSTEMATIC WAY -Ankang  special network of FORENSIC MENTAL HOSPITALS operating across the country -some are governed by the police  state secrecy -incarceration of „petitioners‟, human rights workers, trade union activists, followers of the Falun Gong movement, and those who complain about the injustices of the State -RUSSIA – SCIENTOLOGISTS and members of other TOTALITARIAN SECTS have been recently detained and subjected to FORCIBLE CONFINEMENT in order for RE-PROGRAMMING to occur -INDIA – Indian government has reportedly approached NIMHANS, a MENTAL HEALTH ESTABLISHMENT in SOUTH INDIA to assist in ANTI-NUCLEAR PROTESTS -USA – wife of Attorney General claims that NIXON administration taking part in ILLEGAL ACTIVITY -“MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT” – what she claimed (though true) seemed so ridiculous so she was admitted and diagnosed with a mental illness -misdiagnoses of real perceptions DSM-V Debate – changes were made, some argue that it over-classifies normal behaviors as disorders -Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder -Mild Cognitive Disorder -„Bereavement‟ now classified as a form of major depression Homosexuality + Gay Rights – Questioning the Role of Culture and the Social Construction of Deviance -must question the role of culture  shouldn‟t assume cul
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