Our everyday lives are increasingly intertwined with psychiatry and discussions of mental health. Yet the dominant medical discipline of psychiatry remains surrounded by controversy. Is mental distress really an illness like any other, treatable by drugs? Can psychiatrists differentiate between mental disorders normal eccentricities, anxieties or even sadness? Should the power of psychiatrists be challenged by the knowledge of those with lived experience of mental ill health?
In this penetrating analysis, Nikolas Rose critiques the powerful part that psychiatry has come to play in the lives of so many across the world. A series of chapters, each tackling an area of dispute head on, opens wide the terrain of debate addressing issues such as advances in brain science, the politics of Western psychiatry's spread across the globe, and recent evidence of social adversity's role in producing mental ill health. The answers we find to these pressing questions will shape the psychiatric futures that are being brought into existence. Ultimately, this book proposes a radically different future, no less evidence-based or rigorous, and indeed far more attuned to the realities of mental health, and argues that, as a branch of social medicine, another psychiatry is possible.
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