Journal article

Looping effects and the expanding concept of mental disorder

N Haslam

JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY-GIORNALE DI PSICOPATOLOGIA | PACINI EDITORE | Published : 2016

Abstract

The concept of 'looping effects' helps to clarify how psychiatric conditions are moving targets. As professional understandings of mental disorders change, people shape their behaviour, experience and self-understanding in response. By this means, evolving concepts of mental disorder, carried by language, arose make up new kinds of person. The superordinate concept of 'mental disorder' is also a moving target. This article develops an account of the concept's semantic alterations, proposing that it has progressively expanded horizontally to encompass qualitatively new forms of distress and disability, and also vertically to encompass quantitatively less severe phenomena. Changes in the conce..

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