Pro and Con: The British Psychological Society Report on Psychosis
The original etymologies and current usages of the words “psychosis” and “neurosis” are confusingly topsy-turvy.
“Psychosis” literally means a disease of the soul or mind, but for more than 100 years this term has been used to describe only the severest forms of mental disorders, those that have at least partial causality in neurological (brain) malfunction.
“Neurosis” literally means a disease of the nerves, but for more than 200 years this term has been used to describe a grab bag of mostly milder mental disorders more clearly related to psychology (the mind) or to social pressures than to any neurological disease.
Recently there has been considerable controversy and confusion around how the word “psychosis” should be used, if indeed it should be used at all.
The British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology recently issued a report, “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality… and what can help.” Edited by Anne Cooke, the report presents a psychological perspective on these experiences and questions the way we think about mental illness.
Anne will support the report, and I will critique it. Anne writes:
Our report has two main aims. —> Read More Here