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The clinical application of the stress concept

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2014

F. Koerselman*
Affiliation:
University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract

Background:

Knowledge on fundamental aspects of the influence of ‘stress’ on animal and human organisms is accumulating. In clinical situations, however, psychiatrists still do not use apropriate instruments to recognize and handle the impact of daily life stress. DSM-IV is insufficient in this respect.

Objective:

A different approach is sketched for clinicians to be able to integrate knowledge from research more effectively.

Method:

Application of a ‘broad’ biological view may reveal the significance of interpretation, emotion, impulse and reaction as stages of a ‘mental tract’, which is involved in processing the input of stressful situations.

Result:

This may lead to a more rational ‘targeting’ of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic strategies in clinical practice.

Conclusion:

A re-orientation of clinical psychiatry from mere classification towards a ‘broad’ biological approach may pave the way for a more rational and purposeful application of research findings to therapy.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © Blackwell Munksgaard 2002

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References

Mayr, E. This is biology. The science of the living world. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997. Google Scholar
Ledoux, J. The emotional brain. The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life. New York: Touchstone, 1996. Google Scholar
Damasio, AR. Decartes' error. Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York: Avon Books, 1994. Google Scholar
Bolton, D, Hill, J. Mind, meaning and mental disorder. The nature of causal explanation in psychology and psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Google Scholar
Praag, HM. Over the mainstream: diagnostic requirements for biological psychiatric research. Psychiatr Res 1997;72: 201212. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

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