When the illness is psychiatric
© Cambridge University Press 2010.Medical illnesses target our bodies. Psychiatric illnesses target our selves. Psychiatric disorders, even when understood as disorders of the brain, strike us directly where we live - where we think, feel, and make decisions. Although in recent decades psychiatry has moved further into the mainstream of general medicine, the fact that psychiatric diseases go to the heart of who we are has a profound impact on how these disorders are experienced both by the affected persons and by those around them. Moreover, psychiatric practice differs in significant ways from general medical practice and likely is unfamiliar to many people. For these reasons, psychiatric illness remains a special case, with its own particular features, warranting separate consideration.
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