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The Abduction of Disorder in Psychiatry

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: The evolutionary cornerstone of J. C. Wakefield s (1999) harmful dysfunction thesis is a faulty assumption of comparability between mental and biological processes that overlooks the unique plasticity and openness of the brain?s functioning design. This omission leads Wakefield to an idealized concept of natural mental functions, illusory interpretations of mental disorders as harmful dysfunctions, and exaggerated claims for the validity of his explanatory and stipulative proposals. The authors argue that there are numerous ways in which evolutionarily intact mental and psychological processes, combined with striking discontinuities within and between evolutionary and contemporary social cultural environments, may cause non-dysfunction variants of many widely accepted major mental disorders. These examples undermine many of Wakefield s arguments for adopting a harmful dysfunction concept of mental disorder.

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