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Conclusion - Neurosis as a contagious diagnosis

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Chapter Summary

This is the conclusory chapter of this book, which suggests that psychomedical diagnoses are very much dependent on conjecture, on changing professional fashions, personal preferences and collective beliefs. In order to become a popular socio-cultural illness, a diagnosis has to appeal to the collective imagination of people, as well as fit in with and express the prevailing mental habits of people. Moreover, neurosis adapted perfectly to psychoculture, in which the language and rhetoric of the psyche and psychic conflict began to replace the language and rhetoric of nerves. As an illness with extremely diffuse diagnostic boundaries, neurosis could be interpreted as a psychopathological outcome of psychic conflict as much as a neuropathological outcome of shattered nerves, and this adaptability of neurosis to ever-changing psychomedical and cultural circumstances made it a diagnostic success.

Keywords: neurosis; psyche; psychoculture; psychomedical diagnoses; shattered nerves

10.1163/ej.9789004160750.i-391.98
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