Voices from the Inside: Readings on the Experiences of Mental Illness

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One of sociology's most important missions is giving voice to those whose experiences are typically otherwise blunted, marginalized, or simply ignored. Featuring memorable, first-person accounts of mentally ill individuals, Voices from the Inside: Readings on the Experiences of Mental Illness allows students to connect directly with real-life "experts" who know mental illness all too intimately. This unique anthology addresses a variety of central topics surrounding mental illness, including suicide, hospitalization, the meanings of medication, the experiences of caregivers, and the stigma attached to mental illness. Each section of readings opens with a "sensitizing" introduction that outlines key questions, specific matters for student consideration, and ways in which social scientists approach relevant substantive issues. The thought-provoking discussion questions following each set of readings are designed to foster vibrant class discussion. Comprehensive enough to be used throughout a course—but brief enough to be combined with other supplementary materials or a full-scale textbook—Voices from the Inside is ideal for upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses on the sociology of mental health and illness. It can also be used in courses in medical sociology, social work and mental health, nursing and mental health, and abnormal psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Karp and Sisson capture the subjective experience of mental illness and its social consequences in a way that is sociologically grounded and informative, yet they never allow the science of psychiatric nosology, deviance, medicalization, and anomie to overshadow the humanity captured in the excerpted narratives. As impossible as it sounds, they allow the average well-adjusted, mentally stable person to experience vicariously mental illness from a perspective most of us will never truly understand."--Tony Brown, Vanderbilt University

"Sociology needs an approach that stands outside a psychological discourse about cause and cure. Books from the psychiatric or psychological disciplines tend to ignore or disparage patient accounts. . . . At last, a book that will not make you feel guilty for encroaching upon psychological property."--Noel Barker, DePaul University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195370454
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/2/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,137,294
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David A. Karp is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. His books include Is It Me or My Meds? Living with Antidepressants (2006); The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope with Mental Illness (OUP, 2000); and Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness (OUP, 1996), which received the Charles Horton Cooley Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

Gretchen E. Sisson is is an advanced doctoral student in the Boston College Sociology Department and an alumna of Amherst College.

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Table of Contents

Each Part opens with an Editors' Introduction
Giving Voice to the Mentally Ill
1. An Unwelcome Career, David A. Karp
2. Flights of the Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison
3. The Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut
4. The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn R. Saks
5. The Auto Accident That Never Was, Judith Rappaport
6. Denial and Addiction, Caroline Knapp
7. Everything Falls Apart, Clea Simon
8. In Sickness and in Health, David A. Karp
9. The Looney Bin Trip, Kate Millet
10. The Quiet Room, Lori Schiller
11. Prozac Diary, Lauren Slater
12. Teens Talk, David A. Karp
13. No Time to Say Goodbye, Carla Fine
PART VI. The Stigma of Mental Illness
14. To Tell or Not to Tell, Carol Owen
15. Depressives in the Lounge, Sharon O'Brien
16. The Ninth Floor, Pete Earley
17. 9 Highland Road, Michael Winerip
18. Undercurrents, Martha Manning
19. Wasted, Marya Hornbacher

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