The Failure of Psychiatry


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This book has as its main theme the view that psychiatrists have been unable to cope with the problems facing their patients. It was necessary to distinguish between those disorders or behaviours which are brought about by physical factors such as brain tumours or drug abuse and those that are caused by social relationahips. These latter behaviours are not illnesses in the medical or pathological sense but understandable responses to social situations. The term ‘mental illness’ is thus essentially meaningless. Special attention is given to schizophrenia, which most psychiatrists regard as a physical disorder of the brain. However, convincing evidence is available that schizophrenia is, like all other ‘mental illnesses’, an understandable reaction to a certain type of social situation. Various forms of treatment are considered, and it is suggested that the only really effective approach is one which encourages patients to change the social situation which has caused them to be labelled ‘mentally ill’. Once a London firefighter, John Robinson read pschology at Trinity College, Dublin, where he also obtained his doctorate. For sixteen years he lectured at the North East London Polytechnic. He ran a course in conjunction with the local health authority, for psychiatrists-in-training. He now practices psychotherapy in South London.

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Weight 198 g
Dimensions 15.5 × 23 × 0.656 cm