The psychiatric significance of the personal self

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38 Scopus citations


Drawing upon literature reviews in psychiatry, the social sciences, and philosophy, this article defines the concept of the "personal self" and briefly describes its importance to the following areas of psychiatry: (1) mental illness, (2) psychiatric ethics, (3) diagnosis, (4) the clinician, (5) clinical research, (6) psychiatric pluralism, and (7) the goals of psychiatric treatment. The personal self is a Western commonsense concept which is characterized by five aspects: agency, identity, trajectory, history, and perspective. Because of the intimate and often ambiguous relationship between the personal self and mental illness, the personal self has considerable psychiatric significance in moral, professional, research, and existential realms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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