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A world-renowned psychiatrist reveals the fascinating story of psychiatry's origins, demise, and redemption.
Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining "lunatics" in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. But as Jeffrey Lieberman reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medicine" has been anything but smooth.
In Shrinks Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudoscience through its adolescence as a cult of "shrinks" to its late-blooming maturity since the Second World War as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field, from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel, Shrinks is a gripping and illuminating read. It is also an urgent call to arms to dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness and to start treating it as a disease rather than a state of mind.
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- Frank F.
Compelling manifest for a pluralistic psychiatry
The history of psychiatry is presented in a fascinating way to report patterns and historical details of the endeavors to better the life of the mentally ill (and also the promotion of the interests of the practitioners). As this field shares a lot with politics with lots of opinions on meager knowledge, it’s progress, has, despite the lack of unified theory of the mind, made the life of the „mentally challenged“ in the 21st century far better than in the centuries before. Compelling read, and good narrator too
- Dery K
Very good overview
Very informative and an excellent insight into the (untold) history of psychiatry. However, it is not written from the perspective of the patients. It is just another book, even something is missing: why do we label some people as sick, ill, dangerous, not sane. In contrast, others are creative, talented, intelligent, and even occupy these positions in which these "mentally ill" people stay and get their therapy, and how does it correlate with fixed identities? It is like other people pass by (therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists), while other people are drawn in (patients). It appears like some people are stuck in the energy field running/keeping themselves in a vicious circle of endless nothingness, while other people profit off of it. They should have told it from the perspective of the otherness as well because maybe some people are not wired for group affinity, and they desperately try to fit in. They keep asking themselves, what exactly is wrong with them, even though "they are born to stand out." Also, people get calm on their own when they get what they "want" or when they see a different outcome in their conditioned environment and their conditioned lives. Perception also plays a crucial role in "mental illnesses," but society barely talks about it, they keep it abstract by saying: illness of the soul!