Medicalisation of Human Emotions

Medicalisation is the process of taking aspects of human behaviour and trying to explain it through medical principles.

This process of medicalisation is then used to legitimise the management of our behaviours using conventional medical approaches such as drug interventions or surgical procedures.

The principle problem with this process is that a great many of our behaviours are the result of things that happen to us in the social contexts in which we live.

For example, most of us would consider the feeling of grief to be normal when losing a close relative.

In recent times, however, long-term grief has been medicalised as “Prolonged Grief Disorder“.

Medicalisation of phobias banner

The Medicalisation of Stress

These days stress is talked about as if it is some sort of ‘illness’, that people are suffering ‘from stress’ or have the ‘symptoms of stress’.

This is rather odd because stress is a reaction, an outcome of something NOT a condition in itself.

You cannot suffer from stress, but you can, of course ‘be’ stressed.

You can experience problems as a result of ‘being stressed’ but stress is not, itself, an actual problem.

Sneezing is the outcome of an irritation in the nasal passage.

However, you do not ‘have’ sneezing or ‘suffer from sneezing’ in the same way that you cannot ‘have’ stress or ‘suffer from stress’.

You may BE sneezing, and you may BE stressed.

This is, unfortunately, yet another example of the medicalisation and pathologisation of a normal human response re-modelled as an illness.

Psychiatry Through the Looking Glass

Read what the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) and the United Nations (U.N.) said recently about the biomedical models of mental illness on Psychology Today.

W.H.O. and U.N. Join Calls to Transcend the Medical Model

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If you’d like to find out more about medicalisation and mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular problems and the potential solutions in a safe and confidential environment without you having to commit to any therapy or counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet our therapists and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.

Other Technical terms

Paul Lee BSc. MSc. Psych.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Clinic

You can contact Paul by e-mail on:

Tel: 07434 776125

Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP.

You can contact Joan by e-mail on:

Tel: 07434 776504