An alternative to current psychiatric classifications: A psychological landscape hypothesis based on an integrative, dynamical and multidimensional approach

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Abstract

© 2014 Lefe`vre et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Background: Mental disorders as defined by current classifications are not fully supported by scientific evidence. It is unclear whether main disorders should be broken down into separate categories or disposed along a continuous spectrum. In the near future, new classes of mental disorders could be defined through associations of so-called abnormalities observed at the genetic, molecular and neuronal circuitry levels.Methods: We propose an alternative hypothesis to these classifications based on an integrative, dynamical and multidimensional approach. Results: We suggest that observed data collected in the general population can be used to build a psychological landscape. Innovative techniques issued from information processing and system dynamics can prove helpful in this task. Information preserving techniques can reduce the high dimensional data collected and provide an intrinsic map for psychological characteristics or behaviors. Dynamical patterns called attractors, which are linked to each other through continuous pathways, can be identified. Specific attractors can define mental disorders. Their causal structure can be investigated with causal networks. Conclusions: Powerful and reliable tools are available so that an alternative to current psychiatric classifications can be built based on a genuine biopsychosocial model. The proposed model is ready to be tested on real data.

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Lefèvre, T., Lepresle, A., & Chariot, P. (2014). An alternative to current psychiatric classifications: A psychological landscape hypothesis based on an integrative, dynamical and multidimensional approach. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1747-5341-9-12

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