A new term, autonomic imbalance (自律神經失調 or AI), which refers to a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms that are medically unexplained, has recently emerged in Taiwan. Many people compared this condition to neurasthenia, a now obsolete diagnosis. Whether neurasthenia and AI are medically the same or merely similar is a debate that is better left to clinicians; however, this article endeavours to explore the significance of the comparability in terms of socio-cultural theory of health. With Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of minor literature as reference, the objectives of this paper are as follows: to address how and why neurasthenia and AI should be treated as ‘minor diagnoses’ and consequently expose the limitations of current clinical medicine; to provide and discuss reasons why AI can be seen as a reincarnated form of neurasthenia; and to further elaborate how this approach may elevate inquiries on the varieties of medically unexplained symptoms to highlight the bodies that suffer without a legitimate name.
|Journal||Social Theory and Health|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
- Autonomic imbalance
- Medically unexplained symptom
- Minor diagnosis
- Minor literature