Pub. Date:
New York University Press
Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Mental Illness Really Any Good?

Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Mental Illness Really Any Good?

by Richard P. Bentall, Colin Leys


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Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Mental Illness Really Any Good?

Toward the end of the twentieth century, the solution to mental illness seemed to be found. It lay in biological solutions, focusing on mental illness as a problem of the brain, to be managed or improved through drugs. We entered the "Prozac Age" and believed we had moved far beyond the time of frontal lobotomies to an age of good and successful mental healthcare. Biological psychiatry had triumphed.

Except maybe it hadn’t. Starting with surprising evidence from the World Health Organization that suggests that people recover better from mental illness in a developing country than in the first world, Doctoring the Mind asks the question: how good are our mental healthcare services, really? Richard P. Bentall picks apart the science that underlies our current psychiatric practice. He puts the patient back at the heart of treatment for mental illness, making the case that a good relationship between patients and their doctors is the most important indicator of whether someone will recover.

Arguing passionately for a future of mental health treatment that focuses as much on patients as individuals as on the brain itself, this is a book set to redefine our understanding of the treatment of madness in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814791486
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 09/30/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 388
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Richard P. Bentall is professor of clinical psychology at the University of Bangor in Wales. He has held chairs in clinical psychology at the universities of Liverpool and Manchester. Known internationally for his research into the causes and treatment of severe mental illness, he is also the author of the award-winning book Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Figures
Preface: Rational Antipsychiatry
Part One: An Illusion of Progress
1 A Smashing Success?
2 The Appliance of Science: The Emergence of Psychiatry as a Medical Discipline
3 Therapeutic Innovation at the End of the Asylum Era
4 Dissent and Resolution: The Triumph of Biological Psychiatry
Part Two: Three Myths about Mental Illness
5 People or Plants? The Myth that Psychiatric Diagnoses are Meaningful
6 The Fundamental Error of Psychiatry: The Myth that Psychiatric Disorders are Genetic Diseases
7 Brains, Minds and Psychosis: The Myth that Mental Illnesses are Brain Diseases
Part Three: Medicine for Madness
8 Science, Profit and Politics in the Conduct of Clinical Trials
9 Less is Probably Better: The Benefits and Costs of Antipsychotics
10 The Virtue of Kindness: Is Psychotherapy Effective for Severe Mental Illness?
11 What Kind of Psychiatry Do You Want?

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