How Psychiatrists Did Not Adopt and Medicalize Accident Proneness

in Accident Prone

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226081175
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226081199 | DOI:
How Psychiatrists Did Not Adopt and Medicalize Accident Proneness

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This chapter explains how accident proneness did not become a standard disease syndrome and was not incorporated into medicine by way of psychiatry. Mentions of the syndrome of accident proneness appeared in medical publications, which should have constituted a step in medicalizing it. Psychiatrists would have acted as the agents for medicalizing accident proneness. Accident proneness raises the question of where psychiatrists would draw the line at what they considered a medical condition. Helen Flanders Dunbar and others pointed out how personality factors could be very important in the development of apparently organic diseases. In psychiatric practice, as in the theoretical and clinical literature, accident proneness had little place in the new styles of treatment that dominated the concerns of specialists. If psychiatrists had defined their disease entities or symptoms differently, accident proneness might have been medicalized.

Keywords: organic diseases; disease syndrome; psychiatry; personality factors; Helen Flanders Dunbar; medicalization

Chapter.  9169 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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