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All we have to fear : psychiatry's transformation of natural anxieties into mental disorders

Author: Allan V Horwitz; Jerome C Wakefield
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Anxiety is ubiquitous in everyday life and avoiding sources of anxiety is often at the core of our everyday choices and can even shape our life plans. But why are we all so anxious, when is this normal uniqueness as opposed to a diagnosable anxiety disorder, and why have anxiety disorders become more prevalent than ever? In All We Have to Fear, Horwitz and Wakefield argue that psychiatry has largely generated this  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Allan V Horwitz; Jerome C Wakefield
ISBN: 9780199793754 0199793751
OCLC Number: 766606604
Description: xii, 304 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: 1. The puzzle of anxiety disorders --
2. An evolutionary approach to normal and pathological anxiety --
3. Normal, pathological, and mismatched anxiousness --
4. A short history of anxiety and its disorders --
5. The validity of the DSM diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders --
6. Fear and anxiety in the community --
7. PTSD --
8. The transformation of anxiety into depression --
9. Setting boundaries between natural fears and anxiety disorders.
Responsibility: Allan V. Horwitz, Jerome C. Wakefield.

Abstract:

Anxiety is ubiquitous in everyday life and avoiding sources of anxiety is often at the core of our everyday choices and can even shape our life plans. But why are we all so anxious, when is this normal uniqueness as opposed to a diagnosable anxiety disorder, and why have anxiety disorders become more prevalent than ever? In All We Have to Fear, Horwitz and Wakefield argue that psychiatry has largely generated this epidemic by inflating our socially inconvenient, yet natural, fears into psychiatric disorders and ignoring our biologically designed natures, thus allowing the overdiagnosis of anxiety disorders and facilitating a culture of medicalization. The result is a society that is afraid of natural, biologically designed feelings of fear and, overall, anxious about feeling anxious. All We Have to Fear argues that only by paying attention to our evolutionary shaping can we understand ourselves, our fears, what is normal versus disordered in what we fear, and make informed choices about how to approach these fears. The mismatch between our natures, environment, and our fears is not pathological, but rather reveals the forces that shaped us and provides an "emotional time machine," shedding light on who we were when we were shaped as a species, and thus, allowing us more insight into who we are today. Readership: The educated lay reader is the main audience for this book, although academics in a variety of fields who study mental illness in general and anxiety in particular will also be interested. The book is relevant to psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, social workers, public health researchers, and anthropologists among others. Students in upper-level undergraduate and graduate topics in any discipline in courses that deal with mental illness will also be interested in this book.

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An interesting an thought-provoking perspective. It is recommended to anyone who is interested in the foundational issues of psychiatric diagnosis. * Journal of the Norwegian Medical Society * This Read more...

 
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