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Challenging ideas in mental health
Challenging ideas in mental health

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1 Boundaries of explanation

This section looks at what we are calling ‘boundaries of explanation’. It tackles key issues such as:

  • What are mental health and distress – and who decides or defines these?

  • What are the views of people who have acquired a label or have been diagnosed with a ‘mental illness’?

  • What are the views of those who determine – and often ‘patrol’ – the boundary between mental distress and ‘normality’?

The section looks at language and terminology and the differences between people. It looks at medical and social models, and some of their competing claims, and introduces a holistic model which embraces key aspects of both approaches.