Some Issues Concerning the Concept of Mental Illness
Alguns Problemas Com O Conceito De Doença Mental
Keywords:Philosophy of Psychiatry, Mental Illness, Mental Disorder, Philosophy of Health/, Filosofia Da Psiquiatria, Doença Mental, Transtorno Mental, Filosofia Da Saúde.
Our main objective is to locate and analyze some philosophical issues about the concept of mental illness and the manner it is used, especially in contemporary psychiatry. It is even difficult to find a standard meaning in the main psychiatric textbooks; and, when there is some exposition of the concept, it is sparse, uncritical and vague. As an immediate consequence of these issues, practical guidelines and protocols for the clinic arise, which become almost “automatic”, unreflective behaviors, practices translated as health interventions and public mental health policies. An example is the problem of overdiagnosis, in which the use of medical technology (categories, drugs, clinical exams, etc.) has generated more harm and risks to the subject's health than benefits. Exposing these issues from a philosophical perspective can eventually contribute to the field of mental health. For this work, the main manuals and textbooks of psychiatry were selected to analyze how they deal with the concept of mental illness or disorder, in addition to locating the present discussion in authors from both philosophy and the psychiatric field and how they contribute to its clarification.