Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-fv566 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-18T03:05:49.739Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The lack of agency becoming part of the self

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2024

Judit Szalai*
Affiliation:
Associate Professor in the Institute of Philosophy ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
*
Correspondence Judit Szalai. Email: szalai@caesar.elte.hu

Summary

This brief commentary on Greenberg's article ‘When the illness speaks’ addresses the problem of agency in mental disorder. Complementing the perspective of the article, it advocates an approach that does not see the causal mechanism of disorder-related behaviour in terms of an exclusive disjunction between the effects of the individual patient's own agency or manifestations of the illness. When reduced agency becomes part of the person's self-conception, passivity no longer means behaviour that is alien to their ‘genuine self’. Relatedly, the requirement that the patient's self-conception be validated raises some questions regarding its therapeutic constraints.

Type
Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Royal College of Psychiatrists

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Commentary on…: When the illness speaks. See this issue.

a.

An entire issue of Philosophical Explorations, in which Jeppsson's article appeared, is devoted to ‘self–illness ambiguity’ (2022, Vol. 25, Issue 3).

References

Arntz, A, Dietzel, R, Dreessen, L (1999) Assumptions in borderline personality disorder: specificity, stability and relationship with etiological factors. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37: 545–57.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Crichton, P, Carel, H, Kidd, IJ (2017) Epistemic injustice in psychiatry. BJPsych Bulletin, 41: 6570.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Greenberg, NR (2024) When the illness speaks. BJPsych Advances, this issue (Epub ahead of print: 2 Feb 2023. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1192/bja.2023.3).Google Scholar
Hope, NH, Wakefield, MA, Northey, L, et al (2018) The association between locus of control, emotion regulation and borderline personality disorder features. Personality and Mental Health, 12: 241–51.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Janis, IB, Veague, HB, Driver-Lynn, E (2006) Possible selves and borderline personality disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62: 387–94.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jeppsson, SMI (2022) Solving the self–illness ambiguity: the case for construction over discovery. Philosophical Explorer, 25: 294313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koerner, K (2011) Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide. Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.