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As a result, psychological disorders are increasingly and erroneously portrayed as natural kinds.
As neuroscience and pharmacology gain more importance in psychiatry, the spotlight has quickly turned to the biological aspect of mental illness.
This has led scientists to make ambitious claims about the neurological basis of mental illness, that go far beyond reasonable inferences.
As a consequence, it is assumed that this categorization embodies a natural distinction, independent of human judgment—referred to as a natural kind.
In social sciences, reification seems unavoidable, and this fallacious thinking can be traced back to centuries ago.
For instance, George Bush, then president of the United States, inaugurated the Decade of the Brain (1990-1999), stimulating research for a better understanding of the human brain and behavior (Bush, 1990).
In a similar vein, the “chemical imbalance” theory of mental illness is widespread in society, even though it is unfounded (Leo & Lacasse, 2007).
It is critical to acknowledge that psychological disorders are categories based on behavioral symptoms, and that biological measures used in academic research are only exploratory.
In fact, if used in psychiatric practice, biological measures are taken to rule out any physical anomaly.
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In the midst of rapidly evolving technology and research, scientists and the public alike appear to lack a clear understanding of the social construction of disorders. The DSM-5 defines psychological disorder as “a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning” (APA, 2013).Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating