Changes in Science and Society

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The last podcast argued that apparent changes in the diagnosis of mental disorders probably had more to do with developments in science and society, than with shifts in the incidence of underlying pathologies. We’ll pursue this argument further today by looking at three conditions: hysteria, autism, and (briefly) eating disorders. The podcast ponders changing diagnostic categories and fashions over time.

While we are on the subject on autism, have you met Julia yet?   The children’s television series Sesame Street has responded to the steady rise in autism diagnoses in the US with the introduction of a new character, Julia, a little girl with autism, helping to raise awareness of the condition.  This is a great example of how the media can play a constructive role in promoting awareness of different states of mind: of people like Julia who do things differently.


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