L'amore che cura: La medicina, la vita e il sapere dell’ombra

Feltrinelli Editore

Spesso si confonde la diagnosi di una malattia con la diagnosi di una persona affetta da una malattia, perdendo di vista il carattere specifico che quella malattia assume in quella persona. Ma la malattia, insediandosi in persone diverse, dà luogo a forme morbose diverse, a quadri sintomatologici diversi e, in ultima analisi, a malattie diverse. La persona, con le sue risorse particolari, le sue difese e le sue fragilità, configura la malattia in maniera assolutamente individuale. E la risposta individuale alla minaccia della malattia incide sulla presentazione clinica dei sintomi, sulla prognosi e sull’adesione alle cure. Incide sul destino della persona malata. Allora, dimostra Giovanni Stanghellini, la persona e la sua irriducibile singolarità non costituiscono solo un’opzione etica, ma un vero e proprio vincolo epistemologico per la buona prassi della cura. Psichiatra e psicoterapeuta, Stanghellini dedica questa sua ricerca all’integrazione tra psicologia, psicopatologia, filosofia e neuroscienze, sulle orme di Karl Jaspers, per il quale “il trattamento medico deve basarsi sulla vita non compresa”. E dimostra che, per curare la malattia, la medicina deve cessare di detestare il proprio oggetto. Deve abbandonare l’ossessione per l’astrazione e la classificazione che la vincola alla freddezza di una ragione dicotomica capace di distinguere tra sano e malato, tra esogeno ed endogeno, tra innato e acquisito, tra psichico e somatico, ma impermeabile al carattere specifico della persona e dunque della sua malattia.
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Feltrinelli Editore
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Published on
May 2, 2018
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Psychology / General
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2013 sees the centenary of Jaspers' foundation of psychopathology as a science in its own right. In 1913 Karl Jaspers published his psychiatric opus magnum - the Allgemeine Psychopathologie (General Psychopathology). Jaspers was working at a time much like our own - with rapid expansion in the neurosciences, and responding to the philosophical challenges that this raised. The idea inspiring his book was very simple: to bring order into the chaos of abnormal psychic phenomena by rigorous description, definition and classification, and to empower psychiatry with a valid and reliable method to assess and make sense of abnormal human subjectivity. After almost one century, many of the concepts challenged by Jaspers are still at issue, and Jaspers' investigation is even now the ground for analyses and discussions. With a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) imminent, many of the issues concerning methodology and diagnosis are still the subject of much discussion and debate. This volume brings together leading psychiatrists and philosophers to discuss and evaluate the impact of this volume, its relevance today, and the legacy it left. "Jaspers' General Psychopathology is not an easy text to read. Especially nowadays, in the Internet era, it may appear in several parts obscure, convoluted, or repetitive. This is why the present volume has the potential to be not only attractive to scholars, but also extremely useful for young psychiatrists and busy clinicians. It may represent for them a 'guide' to the reading of that ponderous text, helping them to extract the key messages that are likely to resonate with, and at the same time enrich, their clinical practice and theoretical reflection." - From the Introduction by Mario Maj
This book introduces the reader to a clear and consistent method for in-depth exploration of subjective psychopathological experiences with the aim of helping to restore the ability within psychiatry and clinical psychology to draw qualitative distinctions between mental symptoms that are only apparently similar, thereby promoting a more precise characterization of experiential phenotypes. A wide range of mental disorders are considered in the book, each portrayed by a distinguished clinician. Each chapter begins with the description of a paradigmatic case study in order to introduce the reader directly to the patient’s lived world. The first-person perspective of the patient is the principal focus of attention. The essential, defining features of each psychopathological phenomenon and the meaning that the patient attaches to it are carefully analyzed in order to “make sense” of the patient’s apparently nonsensical experiences. In the second part of each chapter, the case study is discussed within the context of relevant literature and a detailed picture of the state of the art concerning the psychopathological understanding of the phenomenon at issue is provided.

An Experiential Approach to Psychopathology, and the method it proposes, may be considered the result of convergence of classic phenomenological psychopathological concepts and updated clinical insights into patients’ lived experiences. It endorses three key principles: subjective phenomena are the quintessential feature of mental disorders; their qualitative study is mandatory; phenomenology has developed a rigorous method to grasp “what it is like” to be a person experiencing psychopathological phenomena. While the book is highly relevant for expert clinical phenomenologists, it is written in a way that will be readily understandable for trainees and young clinicians.

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