Abstract

This paper offers a critical analysis of the strategic use of biomedical models of mental illness as a means of challenging stigma. Likening mental illnesses to physical illnesses (1) reinforces notions that persons with mental illnesses are of a fundamentally "different kind," (2) entrenches misperceptions that they are inherently more violent, and (3) promotes overreliance on diagnostic labeling and pharmaceutical treatments. I conclude that too much has been invested in the claim that the body is somehow morally neutral, and that advocates of this approach oversimplify, misrepresent, and underestimate the personal and social costs of physical illness.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1937-4577
Print ISSN
1937-4585
Pages
pp. 140-163
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-10
Open Access
No
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