The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease
A leading psychiatrist and scholar exposes the racialization of a biologically based disease-starting with the civil rights era and continuing today
In The Protest Psychosis, psychiatrist and cultural critic Jonathan Metzl tells the shocking story of how schizophrenia became the diagnostic term overwhelmingly applied to African American men at the Ionia State Hospital, and how events at Ionia mirrored national conversations that increasingly linked blackness, madness, and civil rights. Expertly sifting through a vast array of cultural documents-from scientific literature, to music lyrics, to riveting, tragic hospital charts-Metzl shows how associations between schizophrenia and blackness emerged during the 1960s and 1970s in ways that directly reflected national political events. As he demonstrates, far from resulting from the racist intentions of individual doctors or the symptoms of specific patients, racialized schizophrenia grew from a much wider set of cultural shifts that defined the thoughts, actions, and even the politics of black men as being inherently insane.
Ultimately, The Protest Psychosisprovides a cautionary tale of how anxieties about race continue to impact doctor-patient interactions, even during our current, seemingly post-race era of genetics, pharmacokinetics, and brain scans.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black DiseaseUser Review - Olivia Cumming - Goodreads
Super highly recommend for anyone interested in the history of race and mental illness in the US. The writing probably doesn't support recommending it to a wider audience unfortunately. Feels like it falls just short of being an enthralling must-read for everyone,. Read full review
Review: The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black DiseaseUser Review - Alo - Goodreads
I feel like this could function as a decent "Institutionalized Racism in Psychiatric Diagnosis 101." But if you have read a good deal of diagnostic criticism, or even important pieces in the anti ... Read full review