The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct

The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct

Thomas Szasz / Jul 23, 2019

The Myth of Mental Illness Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct A classic work that has revolutionized thinking throughout the Western world about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices Bold and often brilliant Science

  • Title: The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
  • Author: Thomas Szasz
  • ISBN: 9780060911515
  • Page: 187
  • Format: Paperback
  • A classic work that has revolutionized thinking throughout the Western world about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices Bold and often brilliant Science Bold and often brilliant Science It is no exaggeration to state that Szasz s work raises major social issues which deserve the attention of policy makers andA classic work that has revolutionized thinking throughout the Western world about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices Bold and often brilliant Science Bold and often brilliant Science It is no exaggeration to state that Szasz s work raises major social issues which deserve the attention of policy makers and indeed of all informed and socially conscious AmericansQuite probably he has done than any other man to alert the American public to the potential dangers of an excessively psychiatrized society Edwin M Schur, Atlantic

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    • ã The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct || Ø PDF Read by ☆ Thomas Szasz
      187 Thomas Szasz
    • thumbnail Title: ã The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct || Ø PDF Read by ☆ Thomas Szasz
      Posted by:Thomas Szasz
      Published :2018-012-13T08:17:54+00:00

    About "Thomas Szasz"

      • Thomas Szasz

        Thomas Stephen Szasz pronounced sas born April 15, 1920 in Budapest, Hungary was a psychiatrist and academic He was Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York He was a prominent figure in the antipsychiatry movement, a well known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism He is well known for his books, The Myth of Mental Illness 1960 and The Manufacture of Madness A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement which set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.


    992 Comments

    1. This, for sure , will ever be a must-read. I know some of the strong arguments [points] of doctor Szasz: 1-Diagnosis is a tool used by psychiatrists to control and stigmatize people. 2-Hysteria and misbehavior and attention deficit disordere not diseases; thyphoid fever is,.spring fever is not. 3-Labeling is a stigmatization; treating with drugs is poisoning.4-Mental disease is a metaphor,a fable, a mythology.The DSM* is a joke. 5-"Psychiatrists are more and more away from human touch". It's a m [...]


    2. I'm firmly against forced psychiatric treatment no matter the circumstances, but I also don't like how Scientology has ruined the good name of the antipsychiatry movement. Nobody takes antipsychiatry seriously anymore because it is so closely linked to the weird religion. This book makes a few decent points but it is also very dated, biased and alarmist. The way I see it, nobody should be forced to take pills they don't want or to be zapped with electricity because these things violate human rig [...]


    3. Roy Porter discusses Szasz in the opening pages of his "Madness: A Brief History". has NO hardcover in stock. Zero. Zip. For my part ? "He jests at scars that never felt a wound." @ Szasz : Here is my curse on you, Thomas: May you suffer ten minutes of acute clinical depression. Ten minutes in that "over-heated room", that "bell-jar", that "bed of nails" which we sufferers know when the nerve synapses in the basal ganglia are leeched of neurotransmitters through a too-rapid re-uptake of same.10 [...]



    4. Seen in the best possible light, this is a well-read, illuminating presentation of a relativistic theory of cultural norms. The author says that those who break these norms, the "mentally ill," do so for certain reasons, usually because it benefits them to do so. Classifying them as "mentally ill" creates a model in which it is easier for them to continue being "sick". Instead, they should be treated as competent adults who can change their lives for the better. By way of illustration, the autho [...]



    5. I've read three of Szasz's books and will limit myself to commenting about this one, which is both outdated at some points and still far too radically ahead of its time to be considered fairly today by many (particularly including those whose income depends on perpetuating these very myths or whose sense of self-worth is somehow tied up in them).To simplify some of Dr. Szasz's ideas that I find appealing:1) We need to be very skeptical about the entire concept of "mental illness" and the practic [...]


    6. Knjigu sam otkrila zahvaljujući dvojici okorelih buntovnika - jednom profesoru psihopatologije odraslih pred penzijom i jednom prodavcu polovnih knjiga. Viva la antipsiquiatría.


    7. Szasz makes a frontal assault on the power of psychiatry, arguing that mental illness is a myth and that the power accorded to psychiatrists to decide if people are legally responsible for their actions, have them committed to hospitals, and prescribe various psychotropic medications is fundamentally misfounded. The basic premise of his argument is that only organs can be sick, and the mind is not an organ. Rather, what we see as mental illness are the results of rule-breaking behavior by "menta [...]


    8. Incredibly eye opening book. Shows how the majority of "mental illnesses", except those of clear neurological basis, are not illnesses at all. Mental illness is a metaphor. This isn't to say that what we normally refer to as "mental illness" doesn't exist, clearly these many psychological experiences do existbut they are not genuine illnesses and when they are assumed to be this can lead to profound misunderstanding.


    9. I read this in college for "Human Health and Behavior" class. The seminar that ensued was lively! The author makes some valid points, but they are enshrined in an extreme and fundamentalist tone, which was alienating and made it difficult to fully endorse his ideas. In addition, he is not a very skilled writer, so it takes a lot of effort to uncover his points. I hope to re-read this soon and revise this review, but for now I can only give the book 2 stars.


    10. One can usually find some redeeming qualities in any book, yet this made me struggle to even do that much. I have determined this to be a convoluted piece of garbage. Please don't waste your time or money on a book that does not belong in your archive but rather in the trashcan. Time is precious, so please spend it making memories with family and friends rather than reading tripe from a misinformed, hippy "psychiatrist." This particular book only furthered my desire to research and uncover the t [...]



    11. I don't think that I can add anything that other reviewers have written more eloquently than I about this book. However there are a few points I'd like to make: Modern psychiatry is a minefield of mixed positive and negative motives, methods and outcomes. To be totally for or against it ( as szas is against) seems to be incredibly naive. Szas seems to be trapped in asserting and repeating his view that medical illness doesn't exist and whereas he does point out compelling facts such as the arbit [...]


    12. Spring fever is not really a fever, homesickness is not really sickness, and mental illness is not really illness. That’s the argument of Thomas Szasz, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York in Syracuse. He has been repeating and elaborating that message since publication of his iconoclastic book in 1961. A fiftieth anniversary reissue has a new preface and two essays published in 1997 and 2006. The essays, “Mental Illness is Still a Myth,” and “Defining Dis [...]


    13. I think Thomas Szasz is a brilliant person. He's written lots of books during his career, but this one started it all. He questions and criticizes our society's perception and treatment of mental illness with no reservations. I believe his work has been a positive force in reforming psychiatry, but there's still plenty left that can be improved. I plan to re-read this book someday, and I'd like to read more of his books too.I remember very clearly finding this book in the BYU library and how cap [...]


    14. This is essentially two different books. The first half is dedicated to an indictment to the medical model of psychiatry. He believes that by medicalizing psychiatry, it has removed the moral component of behavior. The second half, he develops a theory of hysteria that assumes that the symptoms that hysterics exhibit are a form of non-verbal communication and can be analyzed as a form of communication like dreams. That is the interesting part of the book.


    15. I'm reading a chapter from 1960 edition, it bothered me so much as Szasz put forward those "self-evident" justifications. He made his point in regarding mental illness as "problems in living". But I doubted the practicability of an argument over the concept itself and the implication of his idea to clinical settings at all.


    16. Heavy going and a challenging read but definitely worth it. Very interesting though naturally somewhat dated in its propositions. It was originally published in 1961 so things have of course moved on since then! He was one of the first to start questioning the status quo and it is therefore still an important text.



    17. Szasz presents an interesting idea, the extension of which I embrace - that mental illness is not merely a biological phenomenon.


    18. This book had just a few items that weren't completely out of date. Interesting book if you're looking for past work regarding mental health and therapy.



    19. Poorly researched. Outdated. Dry writing. Ignorant. I do not see how Szasz's fundamental theory holds any validity in today's world. (in the 60s it may have been an interesting argument. Now I believe it's simply nonsense.)I'll briefly state his perspectives which I find reasonable. It is these which I believe the book gets it's praise from even they are quite insignificant compared to his other points. He spends very little time on these, lots of time on the garbage which I'll discuss after. 1) [...]


    20. I can't finish this book. I thought it would involve insightful, valid criticisms of the institute of psychiatry, and while at the start I could entertain some of the concepts even though I disagree with them - such as the idea that medicine for profit will somehow improve care and strengthen therapeutic relationships (ignoring the massive inequality in standards of care - or even basic provision of care - that this would lead to), and the fact the arguments are based on a fundamentally dualisti [...]


    21. “There is no blood or other biological test to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness, as there is for most bodily diseases. If such a test were developed…then the condition would cease to be a mental illness and would be classified, instead, as a symptom of a bodily disease.” —Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School, SyracuseAlso, I thought this would be relevant. These are from a recent United Nations report:86. An assessmen [...]


    22. (I am having a bit of a break from fiction, mostly out of boredom, I am not going to be rating these for quality or anything like that)Szasz says that all mental illness is ultimately ethical illness. It makes sense to me, but then again my knowledge of psychiatry is very close to non-existent. It then goes on to explore the symbolicism of what the mentally ill are doing, and in that way it is quite cool (though I seem to be discovering now that there are cooler ones out there). It is highly acc [...]


    23. 'Strictly speaking, disease or illness can affect only the body; hence, there can be no mental illness.' 'Personal conduct is always rule-following, strategic, and meaningful.' 'There is no medical, moral or legal justification for involuntary psychiatric interventions. They are crimes against humanity.' Discuss.


    24. Excellent and well-written book in which the notion of mental illness is rationally debunked. There is just behaviour, that is all. The book also offers some stunning insights into our minds.


    25. If you are trying to help others, what use is truth you can't communicate? I detest this book and I agree with its basic ideas. Because of his pugilistic writing style, Szasz has made his ideas, and thus by extension, himself, unnecessarily repugnant. Szasz takes as his hero, a fellow Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis. Semmelweis is remembered for failing to convince the scientific community that children were dying after birth because doctors didn't wash their hands before helping mothers give [...]


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