From Publishers Weekly
Clinical and research psychologist Bentall (Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature) studies the effectiveness of different treatments for schizophrenic and bipolar disorders. In this thorough research overview, Bentall concludes that the "medical approach" is "fatally flawed," and "the way that psychiatric drugs are used needs to change radically." In his view, most psychiatric diagnoses fail at predicting the outcome of treatment, particularly drug treatment, because they are based upon faulty assumptions about the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders and a false distinction between schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Bentall looks at treatment practices and their study over the past century, particularly in the U.K., including a critical examination of twin studies that improperly claim a correlation between the mental health of parents and their adopted children, and in-depth analysis of recent studies that falsely attribute positive effects to anti-psychotic drug treatment while misrepresenting harmful side-effects. This controversial book makes an important contribution to the broader health-care debate regarding mental health and the role of the pharmaceutical industry.
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“This controversial book makes an important contribution to the broader health-care debate regarding mental health and the role of the pharmaceutical industry.”
"This is a provocative but an engaging book that argues that the impact of 'modern medicines' in reducing the burden of mental illness, most particularly schizophrenia and other psychoses, has been exagerated by advocates of biological psychiatry and the potential role of psychological therapies underutilised. . . The book is scholoarly and well researched yet readable."
“In this cogent, convincing and compassionate book, Bentall argues for a new approach to severe mental illness, one which, rather than labelling patients as having ‘irrecoverable’ conditions manageable only by long term drug regimes, instead advocates the sparing, short-term and episodic use of antipsychotic drugs in conjunction with cognitive and behavioural therapy (though not with psychoanalysis, which Bentall views as unhelpful).”
“Bentall’s are revolutionary ideas, aimed at a profession in thrall to the products of the collective of companies known as Big Pharma.”
-The Sunday Times
“Psychoanalysis was popularly called the talking cure, but a better name is the listening one, because to be listened to properly inspires, or can inspire, hope. As Bentall starkly says: ‘Without hope, the struggle for survival seems pointless.’ At a time when dialogue in the presence of other human beings is becoming less and less available, this brave book gives a sense of why this could be disastrous.”
“Doctoring the Mind is a very accessible and well-organized book, but what makes it most engaging is the glimpse inside the world of mental illness that Bentall’s patient stories provide.”
-Scientific American Mind Magazine
“Doctoring the Mind paints a stark picture of a mental health system riddled with corruption and incompetence, in which shrinks live it up on pharmaceutical company cash while patients are disrespected, dehumanised and drugged to the eyeballs.”