Medications & Psychiatry
Psychiatric Hegemony
A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness
By Bruce Cohen
Review by Sharon Packer, MD on Tue, Feb 21st 2017.
Psychiatric Hegemony by Bruce CohenAs someone who was an undergraduate in the 1960s, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for reflections on the "anti-psychiatry" era, even when my brain challenges authors' arguments and wonders if their conclusions are built on a proverbial house of cards because their foundation of facts is flawed. Like so many others, tales about R.D. Laing's carnivalesque Kingsley Hall, opened in London's East End in 1965, enchanted me. Laing himself later recanted his colorful clinical theories about curing psychosis by expressing psychotic symptoms full-force. Laing attributed mental illness to a si
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Psychiatry and the Business of Madness
An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting
By Bonnie Burstow
Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 14th 2017.
Psychiatry and the Business of Madness is, Burstow says, "the culmination of decades of research" (16) in the field of 'anti-psychiatry'. Indeed, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, where Burstow works, has recently created "The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry," which is awarded annually to an OISE student conducting thesis research in the field of antipsychiatry. According to OISE's website, though antipsychiatry research has been conducted for a number of years, this is the first scholarship of its kind (http://www.oise.utoronto.ca
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Psychiatry and the Business of Madness by Bonnie Burstow

Life-Threatening Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs
By Peter Manu, Robert J. Flanagan, Kathlyn J. Ronaldson (Editors)
Review by Sandra Steingard, M.D. on Tue, Nov 22nd 2016.
Life-Threatening Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs by Peter Manu, Robert J. Flanagan, Kathlyn J. Ronaldson (Editors)Antipsychotic drugs, initially promoted primarily to treat people diagnosed with schizophrenia, have become widely prescribed in the past two decades. They are increasingly used in the contexts of mood disorders, a more common diagnostic category than schizophrenia, and for children experiencing an array of behavioral problems. While there are many controversies regarding this burgeoning use, it remains crucial, whether one considers them overused or critical to good care, to understand their broad effects beyond the impacts they may have on psychiatric symptoms.  This academic text addre
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Re-Visioning Psychiatry
Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health
By Laurence J. Kirmayer, Robert Lemelson and Constance A. Cummings (editors)
Review by Jennifer Radden, Ph.D. on Tue, Nov 15th 2016.
As its title suggests, this is an ambitious volume, its thesis that mental disorders cannot be understood, let alone responded to, by any one discipline alone. Suffering and disability of these kinds emerge as the result of multiple factors, including the interlinked and equally important biological and personal, social and cultural. In the words of the editors, psychiatric problems "reflect the interactions of biological and sociocultural systems that can be described in terms of dimensions of functioning, developmental trajectories, thresholds of tolerance, and feedback loops" (Preface xxi).
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Re-Visioning Psychiatry by Laurence J. Kirmayer,  Robert Lemelson and Constance A. Cummings (editors)

Ordinarily Well
The Case for Antidepressants
By Peter D. Kramer
Review by Elizabeth A. Throop, Ph.D., on Tue, Sep 6th 2016.
Ordinarily Well by Peter D. Kramer In Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants, psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer presents an exhaustively researched history of the development of antidepressants. Tracing the beginnings of antidepressants in 1950s Switzerland and bringing us to the present day, Kramer intersperses a close examination of drug trials and the scientific method with personal reminiscences and tales from his own practice. He concludes, not at all surprisingly, that antidepressants are profoundly life-changing for a wide variety of people. Kramer begins by confessing that, during his medical training and for the ear
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Disordered Personalities and Crime
An analysis of the history of moral insanity
By David W. Jones
Review by Maura Pilotti, Ph.D. on Tue, Apr 12th 2016.
In Disordered personalities and crime: An analysis of the history of moral insanity, David W. Jones encourages the reader to see diagnostic categories related to the commission of crime through a multiplicity of contextual frameworks. His goal is to convey a key message. Namely, at any given point in time, assessment criteria and their application are the byproducts of societies where assessment practices exist, including not only the norms and views of human nature that define principles and contents, but also the actors that are responsible for development, dissemination, and perpetuation of
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Disordered Personalities and Crime by David W. Jones

Psychiatry Under the Influence
Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform
By Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove
Review by E. James Lieberman on Tue, Mar 8th 2016.
 Psychiatry Under the Influence by Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove   This is a thoughtful, well-documented, critique of American psychiatry by journalist Whitaker (Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic) and psychologist Cosgrove (U. Massachusetts; co-author, The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Industry Influence in Medicine). Among 11 chapters are "Economies of Influence," "Psychiatry's New Drugs," and "A Society Harmed." There are 16 helpful figures and tables, e.g., American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual revenues 1980-2012. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM) first appeared in 1952, has worldwide influence an
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Black Man in a White Coat
A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine
By Damon Tweedy
Review by Jess M. Otto on Tue, Jan 19th 2016.
Damon Tweedy says that the goal of his book is to "humanize the dire statistics and bitter racial debates and paint a fuller picture of the experiences of black patients, as well as that of the black doctors who navigate between the black community and the predominantly white medical world" (7). In this capacity, Tweedy's book is a resounding success. Tweedy's text masterfully presents the stark reality of the racial disparities between Blacks and whites with respect to the occurrences of particular diseases, but also with respect to the type and quality of medical care that each group (genera
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Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy

 
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