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Creating Mental Illness

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In this surprising book, Allan V. Horwitz argues that our current conceptions of mental illness as a disease fit only a small number of serious psychological conditions and that most conditions currently regarded as mental illness are cultural constructions, normal reactions to stressful social circumstances, or simply forms of deviant behavior.

"Thought-provoking and impor
Paperback, 315 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 15th 2002)
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Nov 25, 2007 Ashley rated it really liked it
All in all he makes some very interesting points about the conceptualization surrounding what we consider mentally ill and the current categorical based system now used for diagnosis (DSM). He covers a lot of the basics (Kraepelin, Eyseneck) and his notes section can lead you to a lot of other current thought (Wakefield, Szaz, ect. ) I’d definitely recommend it if your considering working diagnosing mental illness.
Jun 02, 2012 Bob rated it liked it
The author says that if his arguments are correct than many of the 50 million Americans who meet the criteria for a mental disorder in community studies do not have valid disorders but suffer from distress that is rooted in stressful social arrangements and that will disappear when these situations improve. I believe the author does indeed prove his point.

I think the author does not come out strong enough with his conclusions, but this could be because the book was written in 2002. Many studies
Mar 22, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
A thorough account on how and why our understanding of madness has been homogenized, and what implications this has for the individual and society at large. A compelling and provocative book that challenges current conceptions of mental illness as a disease.

For people interested in this topic, I highly recommend the following authors:
- Thomas Szasz
- Robert Whitaker
- Ethan Watters

Jul 09, 2011 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
This book is great! Many people don't like it because it causes them to have to rethink how mental illness is defined but I highly recommend it... Like really, really recommend it.
P. Es
Jun 03, 2007 P. Es rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politik
great book, lays out the pathologizing paradigm.
Sep 11, 2016 culley rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, meridian
The sociology of psychiatry— important historical information if you or anyone you know have received a diagnosis, complete with compassion for the current paradigm. The writing is moderately academic, but intelligent and readable. Good science!

The biological foundations of mental illness (not including psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar) is debunked, psychotherapy is reframed as “social support” no better than other forms of social support, and the vast majority of mental distur
Anthou rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2016
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