Joanna Moncrieff

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Do Mental Illnesses Exist?

To talk of mental illness implies there is a corresponding state of mental health, but what is mental health? A common definition is ‘emotional, psychological, and social well-being’ but this is a tautology because ‘well-being’ is the same as ‘health’. It’s like saying mental health is mental health. The World Health Organization defines mental health as: ‘A state [...]

2023-09-18T08:17:44+00:0013 August 2023|Categories: Psychiatry|Tags: , |

How to Classify Misery

Medicine is an inexact science, which is rather a contradiction in terms, but in dealing with patients’ problems doctors can seldom be absolutely certain of anything. That is why medical students are taught to be wary of using the words ‘always’ and ‘never’. Indeed, general practice has been called the art of managing uncertainty because one often sees [...]

2023-08-19T01:45:38+00:002 November 2022|Categories: Psychiatry|Tags: , , , |

Visions, Consciousness, and Brain Diseases

There was a news item on the BBC recently about a trial of cannabis in patients with Parkinson’s disease who also have visual hallucinations. Parkinson’s disease is undoubtedly a brain disorder but are visual hallucinations also abnormal? One such patient was presented, an elderly man who had hallucinations – they might better be called visions – of his [...]

2023-08-28T04:51:57+00:0014 November 2021|Categories: Psychiatry|Tags: , , , , |
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