by Peter Kinderman
Notes for a paper presented at 122nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association at Washington, DC, August 7-10, 2014.
It is a time of significant change in the field of mental health. The publication of DSM-5, the fifth edition of the American psychiatric diagnostic manual, has proved controversial, and has led many to question the creeping medicalisation of normal life, and to criticise the poor reliability, validity, utility and humanity of conventional psychiatric diagnosis. Reviews of the ineffectiveness and adverse effects of many psychiatric drugs as well as of the effectiveness of evidence-based psychological therapies have led many to call for alternatives to traditional models of care.
Psychological science also offers robust scientific models of mental health and well-being. These integrate biological findings with the substantial evidence of the social determinants of health and well-being, mediated by psychological processes.
We must move away from the ‘disease model’, which assumes that emotional distress is merely a symptom of biological illness, and instead embrace a psychological and social approach to mental health and well-being that recognises our essential and shared humanity."
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