Sociologist and author Andrew Scull discusses the history of psychiatry's "Desperate Remedies," from lobotomy and the asylum to the failures of today's drugs and the fads of ketamine and deep brain stimulation.
Psychiatry is an institution of control. It is easier to keep society in check when unwanted behavioral traits can be considered pathology.
The psychiatric hospital of today is a panopticon, a modern prison for the daring mind and for weird behavior. I was once inside and thus, am inviting you to have a look. I will take your hand, and encourage you to join me, on an exploration of the inside of the psychiatric institution. We'll have a small peek, but in reality, it is much more distressing for the one who is being observed.
My historical study of the Essex asylum, just outside London, finds that those who were admitted showed significant disturbances of behaviour or evidence of organic disease. Almost two-thirds of those who had psychological, as opposed to organic, disorders were discharged recovered or improved (mostly recovered).
While well intentioned, providers and volunteers can do more harm than good at the border. The Global Psychosocial Network issues guidelines on how to work for the benefit of migrants and refugees.
To coincide with World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2015, Verso Books, the largest independent and radical publishing house released a series of blogs on mental health and critical and antipsychiatry. The posts include pieces on R.D. Laing, colonialism, women’s oppression, delusions and art, “The Happiness Industry,” and social and institutional oppression.