Toward a new psychopathology

Andrea Fiorillo (1), Alessandro Rossi (2)

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Naples; 2 Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Italy.

Psychiatry, ill-defined as it is at present, still bases its practice, education and research on a number of paradigms that have been formulated in the last century. Many of these have eroded and are likely to require a reformulation or replacement by new paradigms. The changes in society and medicine that have contributed to the need to replace paradigms have already been reported and described. In this special issue of the Journal of Psychopathology, we aim to present and discuss new forms of psychopathology and new psychiatric disturbances, which represent the consequence of the health, cultural, technological, economic and scientific changes that have recently occurred in society. In particular, social crisis and modernisation have significantly modified boundaries of psychopathology; too often psychiatrists are called to deal with mental health problems, which are not proper mental disorders, but abnormal reactions to adverse life events or to external and internal stressors. The new expressions of psychopathological problems, which are due to the above changes, are generating diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties for clinicians and other mental health professionals, which make the rediscovery of psychopathology one of the top priorities for psychiatric training and practice.

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