Readersforum's Blog

June 20, 2013

James Davies’s top 10 psychiatry critiques

Cracked-Why-Psychiatry-is-DoThe author of Cracked selects a battery of books that challenge received wisdom about mental illness and how to treat it.

I wrote Cracked: Why Psychiatry Is Doing More Harm Than Good because of the huge gulf between what most people believe about psychiatric diagnoses and medications and what the evidence actually reveals.

When I started working in the NHS I pretty much accepted the mainstream view – that psychiatric drugs work, that the categories of mental disorder have been established via solid scientific research, and that we are now on the cusp of understanding the biology of mental illness. It took many years of practice and research to learn that such assertions do not stand up to serious scientific scrutiny.

My choice of 10 books here reflects the writings of diverse commentators – patients, academics, novelists, psychologists and critical psychiatrists – who have at different times challenged our understanding of mental illnesses and how best to treat them.

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