The Age of Insanity: Modernity and Mental Health

The Age of Insanity: Modernity and Mental Health

by John F. Schumaker


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The often misunderstood modern person syndrome is a disorder linked to the conditions of living in our contemporary society. The author argues that the conditions of modernity have introduced new processes, forces, and cultural motivations that have major implications for all aspects of mental health and social well being. While modernity offers unprecedented opportunities for personal enhancement and creative expression, there is mounting evidence of a mental health crisis that demands the immediate attention of mental health professionals. In order to address the new challenges that have arisen under conditions of modernity, mental health professionals must rethink fundamental assumptions about the relationship between society and mental health, as well as the impact of modern social concerns upon individual behavior and psychological well being.

This innovative approach to mental health seeks to explain a variety of psychological trends, including the steep rise in depression, the sharp increase in the prevalence of existential disorders, and the emergence of consumption disorders. By shedding light on the interaction between modernity and mental health, Schumaker illuminates the emerging patterns of mental disturbance while also offering new and more effective intervention and prevention strategies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275970529
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/30/2001
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

JOHN F. SCHUMAKER is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has authored and edited nine books and numerous chapters and journal articles.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Human Context of Modernity

Megatrends in Identity, Consciousness, and Psychological Defense

Materialism, Consumption, and Mental Health

The Cultural Dynamics of Western Depression

The New Anxiety

Modernity and Interpersonal Health

Spiritual and Existential Health

Mental Health and the Physical World

The New Mental Health Worker


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