The Role of Emotions in Mental Illness

Ana García-Blanco, M.D., Ph.D. (Editor)
Neonatal Research Unit, Health Research Institute La Fe, Valencia, Spain

Series: Mental Illnesses and Treatments
BISAC: PSY036000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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This book has attempted to highlight the importance of emotions in mental illness. Emotional experiences have an important effect on child development and to determine emotional organization. This emotional organization influences the perception of the self, others, and the world.

Despite the importance of emotions to understand the individual’s complexity, cognition has been the most studied mental process in psychiatric illness because it can be easily verbalized. However, the origin of psychiatry and psychology highlights the importance of emotion rather than cognition. On the one hand, the work of Wundt supposed a milestone in the study of emotions in the lab. He is widely regarded as the “father of experimental psychology”. Likewise, Jaspers gave notes on how the patients themselves felt about their symptoms. Jaspers is widely regarded as the “father of the biographical method”. Both theses have been considered as reductionist perspectives. On the other hand, the work of Freud supposed another milestone in the study of emotions by means of the unconscious mind. He is one of the founding figures of psychoanalysis. Thus, he proposed interesting macro concepts, but they are not falsifiable. To sum up, paradigms in conflict posit difficulties to understand the complexity of emotions in mental illness.

This book tries to bind both micro and macro components in order to understand the complexity of emotions in mental disorders. To this end, a preliminary chapter – “Affects and Psychoanalytical Theory” – examines the last contributions of psychoanalysis on emotional states from a macro conceptual perspective. To understand the etiology of emotional organization, the second chapter reviews the literature on “Genetics of Emotional Dysregulation”. With regards to the importance of emotional organizations, the third chapter highlights the study of “Affective Temperament in Mood Disorders”. The affective temperaments can elicit certain emotions over others and can determine the course and the illness prognosis. Similarly, negative life events can cause epigenetic changes and elicit biases to negative information. This thesis is explained in the fourth chapter, entitled “Emotional World Perception in Depression”. From a longitudinal perspective, emotional disturbances can be part of adolescence or can be an indicator of emotional vulnerability to develop a mental disorder. This differential diagnosis between normal or pathological mood is examined in the fifth chapter, “Severe Mood Dysregulation in Adolescence”. Subsequent chapters examine the last findings on emotions in different mental disorders other than affective disorders. The sixth chapter, “The Role of Emotion in Eating Disorders” goes further than eating behaviors and focuses on the emotional experience as an underlying mechanism. Similarly, the seventh chapter – “An Emotional Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorders” indicates that emotions are not absent, but rather blocked.

Therefore, this book will help readers to understand the role of emotion in psychopathology in terms of: i) Macro (psychoanalysis) and micro (research) conceptualizations; ii) the development of emotional organization across a life cycle; iii) the importance of emotional organization in the course of mental illness; iv) the fine frontier between pathological and non-pathological emotions; and v) the reconsideration of emotions as the underlying mechanism of abnormal behavior. (Imprint: Nova)


Chapter 1. Affects and Psychoanalytical Theory
Javier Plumed, MD, PhD and Luis Rojo-Moreno, MD, PhD (Department of Psychiatry, Polytechnic and University Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain, and others)

Chapter 2. Genetics of Emotional Dysregulation
Carmen Iranzo, MD, PhD and Laura Campos, MD (Psychiatric Service, Polythechnic and University Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain)

Chapter 3. Affective Temperament in Mood Disorders
Pilar Sierra San Miguel, MD, PhD, Yolanda Cañada, MD, and Lorenzo Livianos Aldana, MD, PhD (Psychiatric Service, Politechnic and University Hospital La Fe, Valecia, Spain, and others)

Chapter 4. Emotional World Perception in Depression
Éric Laurent, PhD, Nicolas Noiret, and Renzo Bianchi, PhD (Laboratoire de Psychologie, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Besançon, France, and others)

Chapter 5. Severe Mood Dysregulation in Adolescence
María Barberá, MD, PhD, Elisa Ibáñez, MD, and Helena Tobella, MD (Department of Psychiatry, La Fe Hospital, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, and others)

Chapter 6. The Role of Emotions in Eating Disorders
Luis Miguel Rojo-Bofill, MD, Pilar Arribas-Saiz, and Luis Rojo-Moreno, MD, PhD (Department of Psychiatry, Polytechnic and University Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain, and others)

Chapter 7. An Emotional Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Farah Ghosn, Miguel Ángel Vázquez, and Ana García-Blanco, PhD (University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, and others)


Audience: Psychologist and psychiatrist

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