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'Isn’t Everyone a Little OCD?' The Epistemic Harms of Wrongful Depathologization

Spencer, Lucienne and Carel, Havi (2021) 'Isn’t Everyone a Little OCD?' The Epistemic Harms of Wrongful Depathologization. Philosophy of Medicine, 2 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 2692-3963

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This article develops the concept of wrongful depathologization, in which a psychiatric disorder is simultaneously stigmatized (because of sanist attitudes towards mental illness) and trivialized (as it is not considered a “proper” illness). We use OCD as a case study to argue that cumulatively these two effects generate a profound epistemic injustice to OCD sufferers, and possibly to those with other mental disorders. We show that even seemingly positive stereotypes attached to mental disorders give rise to both testimonial injustice and wilful hermeneutical ignorance. We thus expose an insidious form of epistemic harm that has been overlooked in the literature.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: Pathology Epistemic Injustice Mental Disorder Psychiatry Stereotypes Pathophobia Willful Ignorance Trivialisation Stigma Psychiatric Classification Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine > Psychiatry
Depositing User: Professor Alex Broadbent
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2022 14:44
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2022 14:44
Item ID: 20755
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Medicine
Publisher: University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5195/pom.2021.19
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine > Psychiatry
Date: 19 April 2021
Page Range: pp. 1-18
Volume: 2
Number: 1
ISSN: 2692-3963

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