The illusion of mental health: In the mind of which beholder?

Thomas E. Joiner, Jessica S. Brown, Marisol Perez, Gopalan Sethuraman, Floyd R. Sallee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We reference self-ratings and clinician ratings of childhood anxious symptoms to a third data source well delineated with regard to the pathophysiology of anxiety. A total of 36 children with anxiety disorders and other children were administered yohimbine, an alpha-sub-2-adrenoreceptor antagonist, in response to which anxiety-prone children have blunted output of growth hormone. We assessed neuroendocrine reactions. In general, participants who claimed anxiety that was unconfirmed by clinicians displayed anxiotypic neuroendocrine profiles, whereas those who denied anxiety detected by clinicians did not, suggesting self-report may have had the advantage over clinician ratings in some instances. Nuanced and contextualized conclusions in this area of work are needed. In response to the question "the illusion of mental health: in the mind of which beholder?," we answer "it depends on the sample and the syndrome under study.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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