Book cover

 

Punishing the Patient
How Psychiatrists Misunderstand and Mistreat Schizophrenia

by Richard Gosden

Scribe Publications, Melbourne Australia, 2001.

336pp 234 x 152mm paperback
ISBN 0 908011 52 0
Price: $A33.00 (including GST)
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Description

Schizophrenia is the medical name for the most baffling form of mental disorder that afflicts human beings. There are no laboratory tests available to confirm a diagnosis, and psychiatrists have many divergent and contradictory theories about its cause. Yet the profession is certain that schizophrenia is a medical problem, and is virtually unanimous about the correct treatment for it: most people diagnosed are treated, often involuntarily, with powerful, debilitating drugs that manage but do not cure the condition.

Now there is a growing worldwide attempt to identify 'pre-psychotic' adolescents, and to treat them similarly.

But what if psychiatrists are wrong? In a radical shift of perspective, Punishing the Patient argues that people with schizophrenic symptoms should be thought of as belonging to two broad, non-medical classes: those who are undergoing a spiritual/mystical emergency, and those who do not conform to social expectations. In each case, psychiatric misunderstanding and mistreatment has led to patients' human rights being violated on a massive scale.

This seminal book is bound to lead to a re-examination of schizophrenia by patients, ex-patients, parents, psychiatrists, politicians, and the State.


Author

Richard Gosden gained his PhD, which is the basis of this book, within the Science and Technology Studies Program at the University of Wollongong. He is now a research officer with student services within the university, working in the area of student disability.

Contents

Preface
Introduction
Abbreviations

  1. Human Rights and the Medical Containment of Deviance
  2. The Medical Model: schizophrenia as a disease
  3. Theories Galore: the quest for a cause
  4. Behind the Medical Model: interest groups and human rights
  5. Non-Medical Models: schizophrenia as a spiritual/mystical emergency
  6. Shrinking Free Thought: human rights and mystical experience
  7. Mental as Anything: schizophrenic symptoms as manufactured artefacts
  8. Punishing the Patient: human rights and psychiatric coercion
  9. Early Psychosis: expanding the market for preventive medicine

Conclusion

ENDNOTES, BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INDEX

 

“A pursuasive critique of psychiatric practice and a compelling defence of human rights”
Dr Peter Breggin, author of Toxic Psychiatry and
Your Drug may be your Problem


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