chapter
25 Pages

People as deviant

Psychiatry and the construction of madness

In the case of personality, 'deviants' are either those who score at extreme ends of dimensional scales such as introversion–extroversion; neuroticism–stability; or those who display behaviours/patterns of thinking which would lead them to be judged as having a particular psychological disorder. In the difference between deviants and non-deviants is quantitative: introverts display many more introvert traits than extroverts; in the difference is qualitative: for example, someone either has schizophrenia or they don't. At first, the 'mad' were incarcerated with all kinds of social deviants, but, increasingly, specialist asylums developed; this reflected changes in attitudes with regard to how such individuals should be treated. The symptoms and pathologies of mental disorders appear to be highly responsive to a wide variety of neurobiological, interpersonal, cognitive, and other mediating and moderating variables that develop, shape, and form a particular individual's psychopathology profile.