Altered States of Consciousness: Functional and Organic Brain Syndromes

  • Chase Patterson Kimball


I wish to propose that there is no longer any legitimacy in the use of the terms functional and organic in referring to disorders of the psyche or the soma. The use of these and other terms in attempting to separate the etiology of behavior is becoming archaic in the light of both biological and psychological investigations of the mental and somatic disorders. Previously, the utility of this differentiation had merit in alerting the physician to etiological factors that would benefit from specific therapeutic interventions of a medical and/or surgical nature as distinct from those that would merit a psychological approach. The dichotomy between disorders of the psyche and of the soma has rapidly blurred in the past quarter century. In approaching any disorder, we are obligated to seek out both somatic and psychological factors affecting that entity. Regardless of the temporal and sequential relationships affecting the disorder, both psychological and biological as well as social factors will influence the manifestation of behavior identified in each of these domains. When the course of behavior is assigned to only one of these, neglect of attention to the others will result in less than optimal therapy. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in behavior ascribed to the mental disorders.


Subdural Hematoma Altered State Behavioral Manifestation Somatic Disorder Aminocaproic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chase Patterson Kimball
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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