Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction
Very Short Introductions
Psychiatry is now a highly visible activity - care in the community, compulsion, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse mean that few people are not touched by it. Indeed one in four of us will consult a psychiatrist in our life time. This book explains what psychiatry is, and what it is not. It starts with the identification of the major mental illnesses and why they are no longer considered just variations of 'normality'. It charts the rise of the Asylum and its demise
with the developments of Care in the Community, and the flourishing of psychoanalysis and its later transformation into more accessible psychotherapies.
More than any other branch of medicine psychiatry has been attacked and criticised. There is a long catalogue of abuses - from mundane neglect and bizarre treatments through to political abuse by totalitarian regimes. Modern psychiatry too brings with it new controversies such as the medicalization of normal life, the power of the drug companies and the use of psychiatry as an agent of social control. The book does not shy away from outlining these issues but provides the reader with a clear
understanding of what psychiatry is capable of, and what it is not capable of, so that they can draw their own conclusions.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"An awful lot of information is packed into this short and very readable text written by the professor of Social Psychiatry at Oxford University...The absolute bonus of this book is its compact and neat size which means it can be tucked away in a jacket pocket and dipped into in an idle moment! If you are looking to refine or extend your understanding of the seemingly dark arts of psychiatry, then I can recommend this to you."--David Haldane, Occupational Medicine