A commentary in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry argues that psychiatrists should no longer focus only on diagnosing and treating mental illness, but should become more proactively involved in defining and supporting the development of mental health and well-being.
“Traditionally, psychiatry has been defined and practiced as a branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses,” write the authors. “Based on growing empirical evidence, we believe that this definition warrants expansion to include the concept of positive psychiatry… Positive psychiatry may be defined as the science and practice of psychiatry that seeks to understand and promote well-being through assessment and interventions involving positive psychosocial characteristics in people who suffer from or are at high risk of developing mental or physical illnesses. It can also benefit nonclinical populations.”
Positive Psychiatry: Its Time Has Come (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Published online ahead of print, May 12, 2015)