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Get PDF Psychology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. December 3, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Given the small space of these short introductions, the history of madness presented in this book feels thorough and cohesive, especially with regard to perspectives on madness, and the history of the insane asylum. However, I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it spends almost no time discussing what "madness" in all its forms actually is. For example, it mentions schizophrenia in a few "case studies," but doesn't go into detail about the condition itself.

As mentioned above, this book focuses more on the history of madness and its cultural and scientific perception. However, I did enjoy the material presented, and felt that it was written in an organic, understandable, and interesting way.

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I only wish the book discussed madness itself in greater depth, and discussed what constitutes a "mad" individual more than just in passing, vague terms. November 1, - Published on Amazon. This book is an excellent examination of how mental maladies have been perceived and treated in western culture over the past years. It describes how mental illness has been portrayed in the arts and the social stigmatisation of sufferers over that time.

Of particular interest to me was the evolution of proposed causes and treatments as understanding of the body developed over the years. The underlying assumptions with respect to the cause of mental illness has links to religious beliefs which I found particularly fascinating. It also takes a brief but critical look at the financial incentives behind proposed pharmacological treatments in the last few decades.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the history of western culture. September 28, - Published on Amazon.

It is more than an introduction to a part of our culture usually clouded by fiction. January 10, - Published on Amazon. I highly recommend this study, which concentrates a larger historical scope, from the origins of the treatment of madness in Biblical times right up to the present, than one would normally expect to find between the covers of such a short book.

The Oxford "Very Short Introduction" series is generally very good, but a number of the authors have deliberately limited their scope in order to write their books; the nevertheless very fine Peter Singer book on Hegel is a perfect example of this. Andrew Scull's main madman's progress is from the Eighteenth Century, the era of the roomfuls of shrieking mad in "Moral Lazar Houses," such as famous Bedlam, that we see in the movies, for example anachronistically in The Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn, though the nun does not guess what she is doing , to our time, when the "Reagan Revolution" has substituted drugs for treatment centers, or even therapy, and left masses of homeless on the streets of San Francisco and thereby created so much resentment of that man - a sense of which author Scull does not lack - who ruined life on the streets for sane and madmen alike.

People who have never lived in the fair-weather capital of the homeless, yet can accuse us of being "San Francisco liberals," cannot understand how we feel as a result of what we are looking at on the streets every day. Though only a boy in the s, two of the men in my family worked at DeWitt Mental Hospital in Auburn, California, and, fascinated and repulsed, I reluctantly joined my father a time or two while he drove the inmates around the campus, giving the more capable of them a chance to work.

My uncle was a male nurse there, and then Reagan's "decarceration" movement horrid term! At the time the argument on the lips of the masses was that these institutions were abuses, where people did dreadful things to disenfranchise their own family members. Much later, hearing this same argument after decades, having endured hundreds of situations with Reagan's "sidewalk psychotics" I realized that there is a reply to this claim In San Francisco there is probably no single political issue on which the populace is more in agreement than about the apocalyptically tragic effects of Reagan's "decarceration" of the insane.

Psychology : A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (2nd) [Paperback]

Scull observes that biobabble has replaced psychobabble for just another moment "bipolar" might still be with us, but I loved it that Scull's "Further Reading" hints at the way this term plays into the designs of the psychopharmacology industry. Informed people will find it no surprise that the culmination of the book is Big Pharma, called that by Scull, which is now the most profitable industry of all time, and which, as Scull clearly and succinctly outlines, dictates far more medical and even governmental policy than is good for anyone except its own greedy self.

For in psychotherapy as in every other kind of medicine, American doctors have allowed their discipline to let the treatment of symptoms suffice where once there was an actual search for a cure. Big Pharma and even the doctors are now in a clear conflict of interest: they are motivated merely to treat the symptoms of the sick, not to cure them. The American masses are arguably more betrayed in that trust in their healers than in any other walk of life. The argument that the cure will somehow fall into place if the psychological state of the patient is normalized through drugs is still evidently carrying the day, even though it renders quite glaring the hard-hearted Republican notions of "let the sick show some character and heal themselves.

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Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction

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