Abstract

Abstract:

Psychiatric diagnoses are increasingly seen as viable categories around which self and social identities might be drawn. This introduces a new pressure on the “boundary problem” for psychiatry: when members of the public request diagnoses to affirm their self-identities how should we draw the line between mental disorder and normality? If psychiatrists have the authority to recognize and diagnose mental disorder, how can roles as diagnosers and gate-keepers be balanced in a post-stigma era of mental health care? Focusing on the disorder identified would-be patient who would not attract the diagnosis they seek were they not to seek it, this essay explores what it means to have an identity bound to a psychiatric diagnosis and considers a framework for psychiatrists to negotiate clinical encounters that involve the seeking of identity affirming diagnoses.

pdf

Share