Life Events and Psychiatric Disorders

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LIFE EVENTS AND PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS * RITA CHATTERJEE, M.A., M. Phil (Medical and Social Psychology Trainee); MANU ARORA, M.D., D.P.M., Senior Resident; Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, India. * * Citation: Chatterjee, R. & Arora, M. (2005) Life events and psychiatric disorders. Mental Health Reviews, Accessed from <> on CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS Life Events Researchers have long been interested in understanding how individuals and environments affect each other, primarily so as to describe and explain age – related behaviour and individual differences. One focus has been to study life events. A life event is indicative of or requires a …show more content…

There may also be some life events which simply act to help maintain the internal steady state or to keep the individual interested in undertaking appropriate activities. Such stress may be called 'Neustress ' (Joseph P. Auto, 1995) ORIGIN OF LIFE EVENTS RESEARCH The hypothesis that emotional conflicts related to external events can precipitate mental illnesses was first formally suggested by Heinroth in 1818 in his designation of the term 'psychosomatic '. Later in early part of the 20th century, Adolf Meyer, popularized the 'life chart ' methodology. This approach emphasized the importance of dynamic interplay among biological, psychological and social factors such that important life events within the person 's biography became foci of attention for studying health and disease. However, no formal scale or schedule for assessing life events or their impact on health was as yet available. In the early 1960s, Rahe and Holmes began developing a life events schedule based upon findings over 5,000 of Meyer 's "life charts" taken on patients at the University of Washington. Each item selected for their schedule of Recent Experience was included because it was found to have occurred in a large number of patients preceding the onset of their illness. Holmes and Rahe (1967) also developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale

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