Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


When a reaction to adverse life events becomes a mental disorder

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:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>