Madness : History, Concepts and Controversies book cover
1st Edition

History, Concepts and Controversies

ISBN 9780415786607
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

Madness: History, Concepts and Controversies provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of current perspectives on mental illness and how they have been shaped by historical trends and dominant sociocultural paradigms.

From its representation among world religions and wider folkloric myth, to early attempts to rationalize and treat symptoms of mental disorder, this book outlines the principle contemporary models of understanding mental health and situates them within a wider historical and social context. The authors consider a variety of current controversies within the mental health arena and provide numerous pedagogical features to allow students the opportunity to understand and engage in current issues and debates relating to psychological disorders.

By discussing key issues such as the social construction of mental illness, this text provides an essential overview of how societies and science has understood mental illness, and will appeal to students, researchers and general readers alike.

Table of Contents



Part I: The history

1. Prehistoric perspectives: Excising Demons

2. Religious perspectives: Madness in sacred texts

3. Ancient Greek perspectives: Madness in the blood

4. Medieval perspectives: Madness and witchcraft

5. The age of asylums: The mass containment of the mad

6. The medicalisation of madness: The rise of psychiatry

7. The classification of madness: A history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Part II: The concepts

8. Biological perspectives and treatments

9. Psychoanalytical perspectives and treatments

10. Behavioural perspectives and treatments

11. Cognitive perspectives and treatments

Part III: The controversies

12. Defining madness

13. A critique analysis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

14. Race and mental health services

15. Class in counselling and psychotherapy

16. The pharmaceutical industry


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Dr. Philip John Tyson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of South Wales. He has an extensive background in mental health research where his main interests lie in psychosis, phobias and links between physical activity and psychological health.

Dr. Shakiela Khanam Davies is a Clinical Psychology Lecturer at the University of South Wales. Her research interests include Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Research Methods, Mental Health and Online Grooming.

Dr. Alison Torn is Senior Teaching Fellow at Leeds Trinity University, teaching Social Psychology and Critical Mental Health.


'This book is an exceptional pedagogical tool for teaching about madness both historically and critically. It provides a unique in-depth overview of the history and key issues of understanding mental health. This book is both contextual and critical – a much-needed teaching resource.' – Katherine Hubbard, University of Surrey, UK