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Insight and psychosis: a social perspective

  • Sonia Johnson (a1) and Martin Orrell (a1)


The last 5 years have seen a resurgence of interest in insight, with better definitions and operationalizations of the concept. However, recent work has paid little attention to the ways in which patients' understanding of their illnesses may be shaped by perceptions of mental illness and treatment prevailing in their cultures and social groups. We review work by social scientists on cultural and social variations in lay perceptions of mental illness and on the stigma attached to mental illness, and argue that these varying views are likely to be one of the influences on insight, requiring further exploration in research on this subject.


Corresponding author

1 Address for correspondence: Dr Sonia Johnson, Maudsley Continuing Care Study, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF.


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