Mad Science : Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs book cover
1st Edition

Mad Science
Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs

Edited By

Stuart A. Kirk

ISBN 9781412855921
Published July 30, 2015 by Routledge
358 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

*Winner of an honorable mention from theSociety for Social Work and ResearchforOutstanding Social Work Book Award

Mad Science argues that the fundamental claims of modern American psychiatry are based on misconceived, flawed, and distorted science. The authors address multiple paradoxes in American mental health research, including the remaking of coercion into scientific psychiatric treatment, the adoption of an unscientific diagnostic system that controls the distribution of services, and how drug treatments have failed to improve the mental health outcome.

When it comes to understanding and treating mental illness, distortions of research are not rare, misinterpretation of data is not isolated, and bogus claims of success are not voiced by isolated researchers seeking aggrandizement. This book's detailed analysis of coercion and community treatment, diagnosis, and psychopharmacology reveals that these characteristics are endemic, institutional, and protected in psychiatry. They are not just bad science, but mad science.

This book provides an engaging and readable scientific and social critique of current mental health practices. The authors are scholars, researchers, and clinicians who have written extensively about community care, diagnosis, and psychoactive drugs. This paperback edition makes Mad Science accessible to all specialists in the field as well as to the informed public.

Table of Contents


1. Illusions of Psychiatric Progress

2. The History and Historians of Madness

3. The "Therapeutic" Coercion of the Mad in the Community

4. And DSM Said: Let There Be Disorder

5. The Failure of Descriptive Diagnosis

6. Dancing with Drugs

7. From Drugs to Medications—and Back

8. The Structure of Mad Science


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