Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When a reaction to adverse life events becomes a mental disorder

07.09.2007
Mario Maj (University of Naples), President-elect of the World Psychiatry Association, discusses the grey line which divides a psychological reaction to adverse life events and a mental disorder in the September issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

According to the Author, this problem is becoming so visible only now because of different factors: 1)the recent broadening of the scope of psychiatric intervention from traditional hospital settings, where the issue whether admitted patients had or did not have a mental disorder was not really relevant, to community settings, where this issue is a sensitive one in several cases;2)the increased presence and influence in the mental health field of several other professions, whose perception of mental health problems is often different from that of psychiatrists; 3)the higher level of information and awareness of users, families and the public opinion.

Even if now psychiatrists have specific diagnostic criteria, the threshold for the diagnosis of some mental disorders appears more clearly arbitrary today than in the past. Three possible approaches for addressing this issue are proposed by Prof May.

The first approach is the one emphasizing the context in which the symptoms occur (i.e., the diagnosis of depression should be excluded if the sadness response is caused by a real loss that is proportional in magnitude to the intensity and duration of the response).

A second approach to the problem is the one emphasizing possible ‘qualitative’ differences between true mental disorders and homeostatic reactions to adverse

events and some recent studies have revived the research line exploring the nature of the ‘distinct quality of mood’ which differentiates at least some forms of depression from understandable sadness.

The third approach to the problem is the one assuming that the boundary between some mental disorders and homeostatic reactions to adverse events is unavoidably
arbitrary and has to be decided on pragmatic grounds (i.e., the respondent’s
symptoms led him or her to mention them to a doctor or other professional, or the symptoms interfered with his or her everyday life, or the respondent took medication for the symptoms). This criterion, however, does not really discriminate between true mental disorders and transient homeostatic reactions, because the latter can interfere significantly with everyday life.So, it is clear that the issue of the differential diagnosis between some mental disorders (in particular mood and anxiety disorders) and homeostatic reactions to life events is at present completely open. Further research is absolutely needed.

Prof. Mario Maj | alfa
Further information:
http://www.karger.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>