Felice Lieh Mak

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI:

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The term neurasthenia has had a variegated history, and although retained as a diagnostic entity in the ICD-10 it does not appear in the DSM-IV. In cultures where neurasthenia still enjoys popular professional and lay acceptance it has a variety of usages: ♦ a nosological entity ♦ an idiom for expressing distress ♦ a culturally sanctioned illness behaviour ♦ an explanatory model for a constellation of somatic symptoms ♦ an euphemism for avoiding the stigma of mental disorder. Therefore, in diagnosing, understanding, and managing neurasthenia the clinician has to be aware of the context in which the term is used.

Chapter.  4280 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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