One of the issues that is covered in chapter 1 concerns the criteria for mental “illness”. As you’ll see, there is no single criterion that is applicable to all types of psychopathology.

One of the issues that is covered in chapter 1 concerns the criteria for mental “illness”. As you’ll see, there is no single criterion that is applicable to all types of psychopathology. As an illustration, let me give you a real life example. In New York City in the 1960’s there was a man who stood on the same street corner everyday and played his homemade instruments for tips. He rarely spoke to anyone, didn’t bother anyone, and wore the same clothes every day—clothes he often made himself. These could include long raccoon coats and a large Viking helmet with horns. When asked, he said his name was “Moondog”. If you did speak to Moondog he might speak at length about his philosophy of life which was unusual (e.g. it included ideas about aliens from other planets). Was he “mentally ill”? How would you know? What would you need to know to make a determination of “mentally ill”? What are the criteria that Barlow & Durand list? Does Moondog fit any of these?

 

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One of the issues that is covered in chapter 1 concerns the criteria for mental “illness”. As you’ll see, there is no single criterion that is applicable to all types of psychopathology.

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