New Demographics

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Diagnoses such as autism are less than a century old. Other conditions, now central to our concerns about mental wellbeing, were hidden in the past, though this time because the demographic parameters were so markedly different. This podcast looks at two examples – dementia and substance abuse – which show how changing longevity and lifestyles may increase the observed incidence of mental disorders, and explores the idea that changing demographics and different thresholds of what individuals tolerate in themselves and others are a better explanation of rising diagnoses, than are changing incidences of underlying pathologies.

mage of the week: ‘Insanity supervening on habits of intemperance’, The Medical Times and Gazette, vol. 38 (1858)
Full Bibliographic Record: Wellcome Library Catalogue L0028554
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

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