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Vertex. 2013 Mar-Apr;24(108):95-8.

[Words that won't fade off in the wind: identity and diagnosis in psychiatry].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Capítulo de Historia y Epistemología de la Psiquiatría, APSA. Docente del Departamento de Salud Mental, Facultad de Medicina, UBA.


The main focus of this paper is to analyze the role of the word pronounced by members of the health staff as it is constitutive of identity in the patient recepting the word. How is identity constructed? How does the word spoken by a significant Other impinge on this process? In particular, what about the influence of words denoting medical diagnoses? Regarding such queries we also look, on a preliminary basis, at each of the two main currents in Western medicine (biomedicine and medical anthropology), to find out if and how it addresses the relation between the word as an element of identity and the same word as a therapeutic tool.

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