The Sociology of Mental Health and Illness explains sociology’s key contributions to our understanding of mental health, and serves as a strong counterpoint to the medical approach to the subject. Using both micro and macro-level theories, particularly social constructionism, the text shows the subjective nature of mental illness and systems of diagnosis and treatment. It also emphasizes how social conditions and relationships create life pathways toward mental health and psychological struggles, and uses the concept of "patient career" to describe how individuals interact with mental health professionals. In addition, the text explores the connections between mental health and social problems such as terrorism, substance abuse, criminal violence, suicide, and domestic violence.
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