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The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

The Impact of the 1917 Revolution on the Evolution of the Concept of Mental Disorder

Boris Voskresensky, Ph.D. in Medicine, Associate Professor, SFI; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University (Moscow)
pp. 141–158
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2018.28.24702
The psychiatric criteria of norm and mental illness are socially relevant, as they can be used as tools of social manipulation and crackdown on any kind of dissent. Referring to the cultural and historical background, the paper demonstrates the prevalence of the fatalistic biological and the subjective voluntarist approaches to the issue of mental norm and pathology in the pre-revolutionary period. The Soviet era is characterised by impersonal collectivism and ideological onesidedness. In all these cases, willingly or not, either moral (ideological) or purely biological evaluations are decisive in diagnosing mental disorders. The today’s definition of mental health, formulated by the World Health Organization, is also not free from these shortcomings. Based on the trichotomy of spirit-soul-body, taken by the Russian psychiatry from Christian anthropology, the concepts of psyche (mental processes) and mental disorder are suggested. The author also highlights their relation to the spheres of “spiritual” and “mental”.
Keywords: degeneration, voluntarism, subjectivism, reeducation, trichotomy, apophaticism, the 1917 Revolution.

Last Issue2024. Volume 16. Issue 2 (50)

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