The Invention of Mental Illnesses

The Charcot Effect: The Invention of Mental Illnesses

For debate; I have seen this both privately and professionally. A healthcare worker decides before hand or assesses narrowly within their own training and experience what the patient/client will be treated for and how.

  • What do you think?
  • Have you any experience of this?


This article proposes the Charcot effect, in which clinicians describe what they themselves prescribe.

It is argued that the Charcot effect can be a critical instrument for exposing how mental illnesses are invented in the process of developing diagnostic systems and conducting psychopharmacological research.

We argue that the Charcot effect helps explain the expansion of depression to epidemic proportions, the promotion of social phobia as a pharmaceutical marketing strategy, the profile of panic disorder according to the available medication, and the worse prognosis of schizophrenia in developed countries than in developing countries.

The Charcot Effect: The Invention of Mental Illnesses. Marino Pérez-Álvarez a; José M. García-Montes. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, Volume 20, Issue 4 October 2007 , pages 309 – 336


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