Is madness purely a medical condition that can be treated with drugs? Is there really a clear dividing line between mental health and mental illness – or is it not so easy to classify who is sane and who is insane?
In Madness Explained leading clinical psychologist Richard Bentall shatters the modern myths that surround psychosis. This groundbreaking work argues that we cannot define madness as an illness to be cured like any other; that labels such as ‘schizophrenia’ and ‘manic depression’ are meaningless, based on nineteenth-century classifications; and that experiences such as delusions and hearing voices are in fact exaggerations of the mental foibles to which we are all vulnerable.
We need, Bentall argues, a radically new way of thinking about psychiatric problems – one that does not reduce madness to brain chemistry, but understands and accepts it as part of human nature.
--- from the publisher
About the Author:
Born in Sheffield, Richard Bentall was an undergraduate at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, the only university that would take him following his undistinguished performance at Uppingham School in Rutland and High Storrs School in Sheffield. He remained at Bangor to take a PhD in experimental psychology before obtaining a qualification in clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool. He later obtained an MA in philosophy applied to health care from University College Swansea. After a brief period as a National Health Service forensic clinical psychologist, he returned to the University of Liverpool as a lecturer, where he was eventually appointed Professor of Clinical Psychology. In 1999 he moved to a Chair in Experimental Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester. In 1989 he received the British Psychological Society’s May Davidson Award for his contribution to the field of clinical psychology. Apart from his interests in severe mental illness, Richard Bentall also studies differences between human and animal learning mechanisms and has carried out research into the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. He lives with his partner, Aisling (also a psychologist) and their twin children Fintan and Keeva.