• Epidemiological studies show that prevention, not primarily treatment, appears to be the logical long-term solution to the mental illnesses. Past investigations reveal this particular group of diseases may fall into three etiological classifications: organic brain damage, individual stress, and what might be called group stress resulting from cultural patterns.
The prevention of somatic pathology is fairly well understood, especially where there is a single causative factor. The detrimental effects of individual stress might be obviated through much of our present-day knowledge of personality formation. It is in the area where social customs seem to be the dominating determinant of psychiatric illness, however, that new research is needed.
Lemkau PV. PREVENTION OF PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESSES. JAMA. 1956;162(9):854-857. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970260004002