“Attention Grabbing Mental Illnesses” Mental disorder is defined by DSM-5 in terms of dysfunctional cognition, emotion, and behavior. We will argue that mental illnesses can be understood more fundamentally as failures to control attention. Some mental illnesses involve too much attention (and too little ability to adjust focus), whereas others involve too little attention (or too little ability to maintain focus on what matters). Dysfunctions in attention are then crucial causal elements in the disordered cognitions, emotions, and behaviors in previous definitions of mental illnesses. This new perspective has potential implications for scientific studies and treatments of many mental illnesses.
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