Skip to main content
The Culture of Our Discontent Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness (2006)

The Culture of Our Discontent: Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness

View Cover

The Culture of Our Discontent Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness

(2006)
Overview
Contractual obligations prohibit us from offering a free PDF of this title published under the Joseph Henry Press imprint of the National Academies Press. The views expressed in this book are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academies.

Contributors

Description

By many estimations, the Western medical model of mental health is dangerously incomplete. If we step outside of the traditional disease model there are many new and different ways to understand, treat, and even accept mental illness. Culture--how we collectively live, interact, and view the world--frames our mental outlook. Arguably, culture even creates it. Western culture, for example, has completely embraced the medical model of mental illness. We quickly turn to physicians if we are unhappy or otherwise mentally discomfited, seeking solutions on a prescription pad. We expect brain chemistry to be at the root of any mental malady, forgetting the deeply entwined relationship between the biology of the brain and the environment in which we think, feel, and react. But every culture has a different view of the world, a lens through which normal or insane are viewed and defined. Anthropologist Meredith Small contends there is much to be learned from stepping away from the traditional Western medical model to explore and embrace alternative perspectives. By examining culture itself, rather than focusing on biology and medicine, we can fully understand the nature of our discontent. Looking at social, evolutionary, cross-cultural, and nutritional influences, Small deconstructs mental illnesses like depression and anxiety conditions that appear in different forms and for different reasons within the culture that defines them. By rethinking assumptions and questioning standard treatment programs, she helps us gradually relax our grip on the medical model to discover a new perspective on mental illness.

Topics

Suggested Citation

Meredith F. Small. 2006. The Culture of Our Discontent: Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11632.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

206 pages | 5.5 x 8.5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/11632

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Rights

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press and the Transportation Research Board have partnered with Copyright Clearance Center to offer a variety of options for reusing our content. You may request permission to:

  • Republish or display in another publication, presentation, or other media
  • Use in print or electronic course materials and dissertations
  • Share electronically via secure intranet or extranet
  • And more

For most Academic and Educational uses no royalties will be charged although you are required to obtain a license and comply with the license terms and conditions.

Click here to obtain permission for The Culture of Our Discontent: Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness.

Translation and Other Rights

For information on how to request permission to translate our work and for any other rights related query please click here.

Copyright.com Customer Service

For questions about using the Copyright.com service, please contact:

Copyright Clearance Center
22 Rosewood Drive
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel (toll free): 855/239-3415 (select option 1)
E-mail: info@copyright.com
Web: https://www.copyright.com