Den psykiatriske praksis' definition af menneskelivets oplevelser - en kritisk undersøgelse af det psykiatriske diskursive fundament

Signe Unmack Larsen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This master thesis explores how the psychiatric definitions of health and illness inluence the discursive construction of the diagnoses within the manual of ICD. This is done through a primary focus upon the document of ICD-11 and the program of ICD in general. Through this discursive perspective, I move to analyze how this construction inluence the way people see themselves through the lenses of schizophrenia, personality disorder and the triadic conception of stress, anxiety and depression. I do this through three interviews with individuals diagnosed with these psychiatric disorders. The two analytical ways of inuiry, the discursive and
the experiential, points to a third perspective; the discussion of the view of suffering and how this suffering is constructed in the diagnoses. Here I also discuss the possibilities of reconceptualization as to improve the psychiatric ield.
Thus, I explore three different views upon the psychiatric hegemonic organization and the discursive productions herein. The ontological point of the thesis is Svend Brinkmann's pragmatic pluralism which describes how inuiries can be constructed through three or more ontological points of reference. This pragmatic entry to knowledge is supported by the epistemological notions of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in which they describe the premise of human perception through their notion of ‘embodied realism’. This premise underlines
the experiential synthesis as a proper way to construct and produce scientiic knowledge where the human experience is at the center. This view is mostly interested in the individual perspective, which is why I expand with the social constructivist’s perspectives by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. Their notions of the dialectical inluence of social realities, from the macro-perspective to the individual in the micro-perspective and vice versa, makes it possible to use Lakoff and Johnsons theory in a broader societal context and how these institutions inluence the individual ideology.
Through this epistemology, I apply Lakoff and Johnsons conceptual metaphor theory "Metaphors we live by" from the context of cognitive linguistics which is derived from the Critical Discursive Tradition. The analysis show how the deinitions and diagnoses are conceptualized through societal values and not as objective accounts of illness.
The thesis concludes that the body of ICD-11 is constructed through the use of metaphors describing the ideal way of living with an expectation of minimal suffering. The ideal notions are placed as to hinder all kinds of suffering with no regards to the fact that not all kinds of suffering are necessarily a sign of pathology. Thus, the ICD-11 is in the risk of pathologizing the normal experiences. The result is that more people might be diagnosed with different kinds of psychiatric disorders even though they may not be suffering from a real illness. This points to the evident fact that the bar of suffering has been lowered and the realm of normalcy has diminished. As a way to mend the psychiatric diiculties I share my perspectives on how the psychiatric deinitions could be discursively reformulated in deinitions where suffering is conceptualized as a normal part of human existence.
The problems described in the thesis are not restricted to the realm of psychiatry. It is possible to see the conseuences of the idealistic deinitions in the educational sphere, where study- drugs are consumed as to live up to the expectation of both students themselves, and the expectations derived from institutions and society. I argue for a critical inuiry into how the realistic expectations of human life could be formulated and distributed though the layers of society.

UddannelserPsykologi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatKommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2019
Antal sider69
VejledereKasper Andreas Kristensen & Paul Metelmann


  • Psykiatri
  • ICD-11
  • Lakoff og Johnson
  • Metaforer
  • Definitioner
  • Oplevelser
  • Lidelse
  • Elendighed
  • Diagnoser