Society and Personality Disorders, Volume 1
This book deals with the effects of social relations upon disordered behavior in contemporary American society. Disordered behavior arises when the person's inability to solve his conflicts leads to a helpless or incapacitated condition of varying degrees of severity. This helplessness results directly or indirectly from obstructions in social participation and in communication. It involves a breakdown in social learning, and it arrests or retards personal development within the area of conflict, for social learning means the ability to select an alternative of action in order to solve a problem. Since the person is a biosocial unity, disordered behavior is affected by biological endowments and by biological injuries and crises. Social relations during infancy and childhood decisively influence the formative bent of personality but do not determine all types of disordered behavior. Within limits, different types of social relations may contribute to different types of disorders. But the types of social relations which the given person experiences do not invariably create specific kinds of conflicts or specific kinds of disorders. The given person's conflicts depend upon the meanings which he internalizes from these relations and upon his subsequent responses. Since disordered behavior is defined and treated differently in different cultures, the disordered person will experience a different sequence of reactions from one culture to the next. Four of the five parts of this book describe the different phases of the "careers" of disordered persons in the contemporary American setting. Part I covers the theoretical bases of disordered behavior. Part II encompasses the social factors and the different developmental processes which lead to neurotic, psychotic, and psychopathic disorders. The symptoms and dynamic processes which characterize the disorders will be presented first, the developmental processes which have led up to the disorders will be discussed next, and the relationship of the varied disorders to the culture context will be analyzed last. Part III includes the particular modes of relationships and personality processes in individual and group psychotherapy of neurotic disorders. Part IV deals with the treatment and care of psychotic or insane persons in mental hospitals, particularly in state mental hospitals. Part V covers (1) the patients' problems in posthospital readjustment in the community and (2) the principles and measures taken to reduce or to prevent personal disorders.
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