The Perspectives of Psychiatry: The Public Health Approach

Paul R. Mchugh

in Public Mental Health

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390445
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950416 | DOI:
The Perspectives of Psychiatry: The Public Health Approach

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Current efforts to improve the mental and behavioral well-being of the public confront an awkward but conspicuous problem. Although contemporary psychiatric epidemiologic research indicates that some kind of mental disorder afflicts more than 50% of the American people at some time in their lives, it fails to suggest any pathways for either preventing or remedying these matters. The reason why is because the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) functions as a field guide in which psychiatric diagnoses are made based on the clinical presentations rather than on any aspects of the generative nature of the disorders. The situation is ripe for change and this chapter demonstrates how the field of clinical psychiatry is ready to effect that change. It describes four perspectives that together represent a heuristic approach, which those at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have suggested as a response to the current psychiatric nosology.

Keywords: mental health; mental disorders; clinical presentations; psychiatric nosology

Chapter.  4717 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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