Theater of Disorder: Patients, Doctors, and the Construction of Illness

Hardcover | September 15, 2001

byBrant Wenegrat

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There are certain phenomena, such as hypnosis, hysteria, multiple personality disorder, recovered memory syndrome, claims of satanic ritual abuse, alien abduction syndrome, and culture-specific disorders that, although common, are difficult to explain completely. The purpose of this volume is to apply a model of social relations to these phenomena in order to provide a different explanation for them. Wenegrat argues that they are socially constructed illness roles or purposive behavior patterns into which patients fall while receiving either unintentionalor intentional cues during interactions with caretakers and authority figures. The application of the social-relations model raises some important, yet previously overlooked, questions about these phenomena. It also illustrates some important aspects of human nature and consciousness, placesillness behaviors in their larger, cultural context, and shows the way to a new and different view of mental life.

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There are certain phenomena, such as hypnosis, hysteria, multiple personality disorder, recovered memory syndrome, claims of satanic ritual abuse, alien abduction syndrome, and culture-specific disorders that, although common, are difficult to explain completely. The purpose of this volume is to apply a model of social relations to ...

Bruce Wenegrat is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and Assistant Chief of Psychiatric Consultation Services at Veterans' Medical Center in Palo Alto, California.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.02 × 5.71 × 1.1 inPublished:September 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195140877

ISBN - 13:9780195140873

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Theater of Disorder2. Basic Research and Observations3. Anthropological and Historical Studies4. Playing the Hypnotic Game5. Hysteria and Hysteria-like Disorders6. Multiple Personality Disorder7. Recovered Memory Roles8. Self-Knowledge, the Unconscious, and the Future of Illness RolesNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Wenegrat (psychiatry and behavioral science, Stanford U.) puts into historical context what he sees as the temporary insanity that infected the psychiatric profession in the forms of recovered memory, satanic abuse, and even extraterrestrial abduction during the last decades of the 20thcentury. He uses the framework of invented illness to look at outbreaks of possession, medieval lovesickness, early modern and modern European tarantism, hysteria in Europe of the 18th and 19th centuries, and other disorders."--SciTech Book News