Out of Its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis : a Call for Reform

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Perseus Pub., 2001 - Medical - 292 pages
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Should psychiatrists treat the mind or the brain? Battles about this have plagued psychiatry at least since the end of the nineteenth century, when Sigmund Freud rejected science in favor of psychoanalysis. But now, 100 years later, we find the pendulum has swung the other way-toward over-dependence on psychoactive drugs and depersonalized psychiatry. In this important book, Harvard psychiatrist J. Allan Hobson and science journalist Jonathan Leonard explore the roots of this trend and propose the development of a more balanced "humanistic" psychiatry that-while remaining wary of "pill-pushing"-embraces rather than shuns neuroscience. For as Hobson and Leonard demonstrate, neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the mind, has shed a bright light on mental ills, and now stands ready to bridge the gap between biomedicine and psychotherapy. This is a vital step, they assert, if we are to revive today's flagging over-drugged psychiatry, provide sound care for millions of the neglected mentally ill, and realize humanity's ancient dream of treating not just the mind or brain alone, but both together.

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Out of its mind: psychiatry in crisis, a call for reform

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This book takes some effort to digest, but it's amply rewarding. About half of the text is a critique of the sad history of the community mental-health movement, the decline of psychiatry as a ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

J. Allan Hobson is professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

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