Owning or Alienation, Cooperation or Compliance - 10.1628/ptsc-2017-0005 - Mohr Siebeck

Thomas Bock

Owning or Alienation, Cooperation or Compliance

How to Work with Mental Health Disorders

Volume 4 () / Issue 2, pp. 185-202 (18)

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Starting with a short introductory digression into epidemiology, I want to demonstrate the risks of reductionism and introduce the anthropological approach to mental health issues as a necessary supplement to the pathological view. After an overview on various mental health disorders, I will concentrate on psychosis, which I mean to consider in relation to the human desire for finding meaning in events and experiences. My paper intends to address two key questions: Are mental health issues becoming more widespread, or are they finally recognized as a meaningful part of the human condition? Is it possible to reconfigure psychiatric institutions and treatment, so that they no longer intensify feelings of alienation, but rather encour-age processes of ownership and appropriation? What are the opportunities such an approach might entail, particularly in the case of obstinate patients? What could, and should, we do in order to gain more naturalness in our dealings with individuals who have experienced psychosis, and other mental health care users? My paper will discuss a few selected issues.

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