Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature” as Want to Read:
Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  17 reviews

Today most of us accept the consensus that madness is a medical condition: an illness, which can be identified, classified and treated with drugs like any other.

In this ground breaking and controversial work Richard Bentall shatters the myths that surround madness. He shows there is no reassuring dividing line between mental health and mental illness. Severe mental disord

Kindle Edition, 656 pages
Published (first published June 5th 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Madness Explained, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Madness Explained

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,093)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book provides plenty of evidence that the current model of diagnosing and treating psychosis leaves a lot to be desired. The author writes as if he's chatting with the reader while citing and footnoting endless research studies and other evidence to support his hypotheses and claims. It sort of reads as a whodunnit in that he starts out investigating, proving and substantiating his assertion that human nature is more than just sanity and insanity, mental health and mental illness. We're not ...more
I would have given this book four and a half stars were I able.

In any case, I found Bentall's book very accessible from a non-specialist's point of view. Throughout, he argues that Emil Kraepelin's foundational schema for classifying madness (into manic depressive and dementia praecox) is fraught with a number of problems and should be abandoned. In its place, psychiatrists should take a symptom-oriented approach. Rather than diagnosing a patient with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, psychiatr
I am going to enjoy this. From the start it exposes that the way out of the epistemological quagmire that surrounds discussions of mental health (or whatever you call it) is to agree to agree with the most rudimentary taxonomies and classification systems provided they have coherence, stability and reliability. Validity need never be in question in a world where pragmatic silencing (in all its meanings) is 'result' enough.
The huge weight of evidence that different psychiatrists using different s
William Sandnes
Madness Explained takes you on a journey through psychiatric history, research and development, and argues that the long-prevailing doctrine after Emil Kraepelin is deficient regarding many aspects.

Without reducing the book to a sentence, the main theme of the book is that psychosis and different kinds of mental disorders should be viewed as variations of normal psychology - that it belongs on a continuum between sane and insane, rather than being a different entity. He argues that we should no
A scientific page turner is not something you come across often. Capable of changing your perspective, and very educational. Reading this book liberated me from some of my symptoms, just from knowing their nature and origin.
amazing, but dragging, pull through and it truly is profound though
Terri-louise Fountain
I have to give this book a neutral rating of 3 stars. Whilst it is well written and easy to read especially for those unfamiliar to the subject, I personally disagree with some of the points made. Whilst I agree that there are faults within the bio-medical model and its treatments, I can't completely accept the cognitive model as in this book, as there are some equally awful research papers with poorly constructed statistics on both sides. What I do appreciate though is the authors acceptance th ...more
Alannah Clarke
An interesting book but also something I never thought I would have to read for an English Literature module, on the surface it does look like something somebody would use for psychology. But overall it's something that can easily be used to help understand the mental illness I see in my module as the book is well written and offers such an interesting argument.
Rashad Raoufi
he makes a very powerful arguement, the book is well wrritten and absorbing to anyone with an interest in mental health, although there is alot of information to comprehend, the simple style makes it very clear and easy to read and understand,thought provoking and stimulating read.
Bentall is a non-Christian psychologist who doesn't buy in to the medical model for the description and explanation of madness. A very good book for an explanation of the history of mental illness and another good explanation for the etiology of schizophrenia.
It's very academic, and 200 pages in I was becoming slightly tired with the repetition of the book. This study suggests this, this study suggests that etc. Read it if you work in this field or are just interested in psychosis in general.
this book examines the causes of many of the symptoms of madness in a humane and in-depth manner. There is some info as well about who ends up becoming mentally ill.
Enjoyed this book! An excellent introduction to the fundamentals of history and philosophy of psychology, paired with radically new approach to psychiatric issues.
Very clear and humane. I used it for building character and for a paper i was writing and it provided useful details for both.
Yolande Steenkamp
Very well written and thought provoking.
Angus MacHaggis
Now I know me madness better!!!
Lora marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2015
Rachel Saloria
Rachel Saloria marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2015
Ryan added it
Sep 27, 2015
Rachael Young
Rachael Young marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2015
Kate added it
Sep 19, 2015
Tami Kotora
Tami Kotora marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2015
Natalie marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2015
Arvind marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2015
Charity marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 36 37 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination
  • Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good
  • Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition
  • The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain
  • Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry - A Doctor's Revelations about a Profession in Crisis
  • Learning from the Voices in My Head
  • Children's Minds
  • Women and Madness
  • The Female Malady:  Women, Madness and English Culture 1830-1980
  • Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
  • Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self
  • Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of 'Brainwashing' in China
  • Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited
  • The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
  • The Unconscious
  • Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World
  • A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac
  • The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness
Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Mental Illness Really Any Good? The New Disability History: American Perspectives A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis Reconstructing Schizophrenia Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia

Share This Book