Pathologisation of Behaviours

Pathologisation is the process of labeling a normal human behaviour as a problem that requires a medical intervention in order to be corrected.

In the field of mental health this has been achieved through the use of the word disorder and implies that there is something ‘wrong’ or not ‘normal’ with that particular behaviour.

In fact, these so-called disorders have also been categorised as diseases!

The pathologisation of behaviours in this way legitimises the use of medical or drug-based interventions that are claimed to ‘treat’ the disorder.

We would not, of course, argue against calling Malaria a disease.

It has a known pathogen that enters the blood stream which can be effectively treated with targeted drugs.

However, there has never been a single pathogen identified for any of the mental health disorders listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders – version 5)

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The Pathologisation of Grief

Grief is a perfect normal human response to the loss of a close loved-one and we all experience it in our own time and in our own way.

However, calling an extended period of grieving for the loss of a close relative (Prolonged Grief Disorder) a disease is, in the eyes of many scientists, misleading and potentially harmful for the sufferer.

As long as you only grieve for 365 days or less, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), you are experiencing ‘normal’ grief.

However, any longer than this, say 370 days, and you are considered ‘ill’ or have a disorder which is not normal.

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Arrange a FREE initial consultation

If you’d like to find out more about pathologisation 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.

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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