The Nature And Meaning Of Psychiatry
Psychiatry is a battleground, criticised on the one hand as an instrument of social control, while on the other as offering lasting solutions to mental illness. Which of these contrasting positions should we believe? What is the truth about psychiatry?
In this deeply thoughtful, descriptive and sympathetic book, Tom Burns reviews the historical development of psychiatry. What he reveals is that mental illnesses are intimately tied to that which makes us human in the first place and have always followed us. The drive to relieve the suffering they cause is even more human. Psychiatry, for all its flaws, currently represents our best attempts to discharge this most human of impulses. It is not something we can just ignore or decide to leave. It is our necessary shadow.