In my previous post on psychosalvation I argued that psychotherapy, and, to a certain extent, psychoanalysis, were grounded in an ideology of ‘psychosalvation’, by which I meant that therapy offers the possibility of ‘saving’ the human subject from the secular equivalent of Christian hell and damnation. On this reading, ‘hell’ and ‘damnation’ seem to equate […]

Culture and mental health

There was an interesting article in the Healthcare Network section of yesterday’s Guardian by Yasir Abbasi, a British south Asian Muslim psychiatrist working in the NHS, regarding the importance of recognising and understanding different cultural beliefs and how these can become intertwined with mental health problems. 1 Abbasi gave two examples of patients he had worked […]

Depersonalisation and conversion disorders: old wine in new bottles?

There have been a couple of interesting articles relating to mental health that have caught my eye recently.  They both highlight a longstanding trend within psychiatry (and, unfortunately in some parts of the psychoanalytic world) to redefine various forms of human suffering and disturbance as ‘disorders’.   This seems to directly correlate with what might be […]

Does mental illness exist?

There is currently an acrimonious spat developing between psychiatry and clinical psychology.  The catalyst for this is the imminent publication of DSM V, but this argument goes back much further and is a lot deeper than simply arguments about what should and should not be classified as a ‘mental illness’.  A series of articles in […]