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Stress and Distress in Psychiatry: A Conceptual Analysis

  • Sergio E. StarksteinEmail author
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Part of the Theory and History in the Human and Social Sciences book series (THHSS)

Abstract

This chapter discusses how concepts are used in contemporary psychiatry, using the terms stress and distress as examples. It was Professor German Berrios who strongly advanced the relevance of conceptual analysis in psychiatry, by examining the use of words, the creation of concepts, and descriptions of behaviors for a better understanding of relevant nosological and phenomenological aspects of psychiatric disorders. First, I discuss the meaning of concepts, how they are used, and their relevance in psychiatric epistemology. Then, I briefly discuss the meaning of concepts based on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose insights are valuable for the epistemology of concepts and for the conceptual analysis of emotions. I finish by discussing the use of the terms stress and distress in contemporary psychiatry as an example of the relevance of conceptual analysis in our field.

Keywords

Conceptual analysis Concepts Stress Distress Epistemology Anxiety Classification 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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