Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature
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...more
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 ...more
The huge weight of evidence that different psychiatrists using different s ...more
It was interesting and informative but OMG is it a slog. The book is intended to be intelligible to a lay au ...more
He starts fairly well by critique-ing the Kraepelin-ian (=medical/biological) model of mental illness. The reason why this reads well is because criticizing others is easy compared to bringing forth your own ideas. The trouble is that apart from his ad hominems against the seminal figures of psychiatric history, Bentall's writing co ...more
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 ...more