Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 20(4), p. 309-336 (2007)DOI:10.1080/10720530701503843
This article proposes the Charcot effect, in which clinicians describe what they themselves prescribe. It is argued that the Charcot effect can be a critical instrument for exposing how mental illnesses are invented in the process of developing diagnostic systems and conducting psychopharmacological research. We argue that the Charcot effect helps explain the expansion of depression to epidemic proportions, the promotion of social phobia as a pharmaceutical marketing strategy, the profile of panic disorder according to the available medication, and the worse prognosis of schizophrenia in developed countries than in developing countries. Having undertaken this review, we situate the Charcot effect in relation to constructivist psychology.