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The Invisible Plague: The Rise of mental Illness from 1750 to the Present Hardcover – January 10, 2002
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In their refreshing, thoroughly documented, cogent reply to the current generally accepted interpretation of the incidence and even the existence of insanity, Torrey and Miller point out many holes in the arguments of other recent historians of the subject and don't push any single approach to schizophrenia and manic depression. Instead, they ask for a spirit of inquiry because so much about the rate of growth and the causes of mental illness remains unclear that open-minded research and clinical studies are still very much needed. Although there are a lot of statistics and graphs, as well as explication of them, in the book, there is also enough history of diagnosis and treatment in the U.S., England, Ireland, and Canada to fascinate readers whose favorite topic isn't numbers. The book delves deeply into clinical accounts and historic insane-asylum politics, funding, and social acceptance. Frequent reference to literary works and authors lightens the tone of the proceedings, as does the authors' hypothesis of a relationship between the wearing of stockings and the incidence of insanity. William Beatty
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"The authors have done impressive research locating an enormous number of examples of mental distress in the geographic and temporal areas of their focus." -- Journal of the History of Medicine
"This highly informative and stimulating work has certainly raised some neglected questions that demand more serious scientific attention." -- Nature
Top Customer Reviews
This book shows me that the mentally ill are still treated like a human zoo just like they were back in the times of Bedlam in London. Just look at the movies and tv news reports....the public is made to fear mental illness instead of understand it.
Dr. Torrey's book tries to break down the walls of stigma and ddiscrimination to educate people.
Dr. Torrey had devoted his life to mental illness. The March of Dimes is starting to make the case for prevention.
Articles about the mentally ill are abundantly found in newspapers and magazines. We just need to find the exact mechanism that goes awry. But that too will be found. Hopefully then the March of Dimes will show its full wonderful force. We will see the forces of the U S Congress dig in, but too much has happened. We will then see a reprint of THE INVISIBLE PLAGUE. It will have a serious cover, because those of us with mental illness know we are dealing with tragic stuff.
I found it most disappointing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was in excellent shape and is exactly what I was looking for.Published 5 months ago by Dawn
It is interesting that the US stopped tracking insanity in the 1990s when the rate was on an upward swing.Published 5 months ago by DavidM
E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. busts the ideological myths regarding the Rise of Mental Illness since the 1700s as he always does. Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by Carla Jacobs
Are we living in an insanity epidemic? Yes indeed, we certainly are, according to The Invisible Plague by Dr. Edwin Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Richard Reese (author of Understanding Sustainability)
I bought this book after reading reviews on various Amazon sites that suggested it was a history of mental illness in Britain and North America. Read morePublished on June 13, 2010 by John Whelan