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The Meaning of Madness

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
This book proposes to open up the debate on mental disorders, to get people interested and talking, and to get them thinking. For example, what is schizophrenia? Why is it so common? Why does it affect human beings and not animals? What might this tell us about our mind and body, language and creativity, music and religion? What are the boundaries between mental disorder ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published October 20th 2008 by Acheron Press
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Book
Dec 01, 2012 Book rated it really liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
The Meaning of Madness by Neel Burton

"The Meaning of Madness" is about educating the public on mental disorders through open debates and getting people interested in this important and interesting topic. The book addresses common mental disorders: personality disorders, schizophrenia, depression, manic-depressive illness, and anxiety disorders and even the topic of suicide. Psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and blogger for Psychology Today, Dr. Neel Burton has written an accessible and intellig
...more
Peter
Aug 19, 2012 Peter rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
As a general introduction to the issues of mental disorders, I could recommend this book.
At 200 small pages, it cannot but remain superficial on all topics (schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, suicide, ...). I have read several books on these topics and therefore it did not offer any new insights. So don't expect any new theory about the meaning of madness in this book. It's a general overview of the problems concerning mental disorders and that's all it is.

However what bother
...more
Carson hall
Oct 25, 2012 Carson hall rated it liked it
(This "review" is for my purposes only).

Mixed feelings on this one. I wasn't really happy with what looked like a cut & paste job to me, but I did find the information interesting. I do believe that some of it was not exactly accurate though, especially the schizophrenia/cannabis connection.
Mark Mills
May 20, 2013 Mark Mills rated it really liked it
This book is informative and interesting and challenged a lot of the ideas I had about mental illness. That allowed it to rise above some pretty major stylistic flaws.

I've been looking for a book like this for a while. Writing about this topic is mostly (and understandably) self help for patients. That which isn't typically seems to be written by English Literature professors who treat mental illness as a cultural phenomenon devoid of biological roots. So I was pleased to find a book that takes
...more
Sudha Bellamkonda
Jun 08, 2016 Sudha Bellamkonda rated it it was amazing
Burton's writing is very even keeled and concise even as he is making a point about the controversial topic of whether mental disorders like ADHD, depression and bipolar disorder are over-diagnosed in the western world. His premise that labeling these conditions as disorders/diseases is primarily to serve the purpose of societies that want to conform to the "normal" and does not help the actual patients (for lack of a better word) is touching.

He draws a parallel between how as recently as the e
...more
Jamie
Oct 17, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it
This book I would recommend to anyone interested in mental health, studying or loving with mental health condition. it is very simple and written extremely well bringing in lots of imagery and facts without imploding your brain with medical terms. A must read for any student starting in mental health or those who have a interest at a beginner level. touching on all aspects into what the disorder is, and traits that can be identified with medical explanation of why. A great start to ...more
Rod
Nov 21, 2012 Rod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I really enjoyed reading. I think is a very comprehensive review of the major personality disorders (What is personality?, Schizophrenia, Depression, Maniac-Depressive, Anxiety, Suicide)
One of this book main strengths is that it addresses each disorder from many angles: neurological, psychiatric, psychological, cultural, the individual experience, religious,and even, artistic manifestations
It's other strength is that Neel Burton uses simple language without losing depth.
Whether yo
...more
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Dr Neel Burton is a psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and wine-lover who lives and teaches in Oxford, England.

He is a Fellow of Green-Templeton College, Oxford, and the recipient of the Society of Authors' Richard Asher Prize, the British Medical Association's Young Authors' Award, the Medical Journalists' Association Open Book Award, and a Best in the World Gourmand Award.

www.neelburton.com
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“Depression: the healthy suspicion that modern life has no meaning and that modern society is absurd and alienating.” 15 likes
“When a superior intellect and a psychopathic temperament coalesce … in the same individual, we have the best possible condition for the kind of effective genius that gets into the biographical dictionaries.” 0 likes
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