Author(s): Rudnick A
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Abstract This article aims to clarify the notion of a psychiatric disability. The article uses conceptual analysis, examining and applying established definitions of (general) disability to psychiatric disabilities. This analysis reveals that disability as inability to perform according to expectations or norms is related to impairment as deviation from the (statistical) norm, while disability as inability to achieve (personal) goals is related to impairment as deviation from the (personal) ideal. These two views of impairment and disability are distinct from the self-organization view of impairment as disrupted self-creation or disrupted self-repair and of disability as disrupted whole person self-compensation (in relation to an impairment). All these three views of disability pertain to psychiatric disability. Although there is nothing necessarily psychiatric about psychiatric disability other than the psychiatric impairment related to it, the life course and life circumstances typical of many people with (severe) psychiatric disorders may lead to disability and may thus confer some (psychiatric) specificity on this disability. This analysis may facilitate research on specific psychiatric disabilities and a broader scope for psychiatric rehabilitation.
This article was published in Health Care Anal
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education