Punishing the Patient
How Psychiatrists Misunderstand and Mistreat Schizophrenia

by Richard Gosden visit tracker on tumblr
“A pursuasive critique of psychiatric practice and a compelling defence of human rights”

Dr Peter Breggin,
author of Toxic Psychiatry and
Your Drug may be your Problem

Scribe Publications,
Melbourne Australia, 2001.
336pp 234 x 152mm paperback
ISBN 0 908011 52 0

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Schizophrenia is the medical name for the most baffling form of mental disorder that afflicts human beings. There are no laboratory tests available to confirm a diagnosis, and psychiatrists have many divergent and contradictory theories about its cause. Yet the profession is certain that schizophrenia is a medical problem, and is virtually unanimous about the correct treatment for it: most people diagnosed are treated, often involuntarily, with powerful, debilitating drugs that manage but do not cure the condition.

Now there is a growing worldwide attempt to identify 'pre-psychotic' adolescents, and to treat them similarly.

But what if psychiatrists are wrong? In a radical shift of perspective, Punishing the Patient argues that people with schizophrenic symptoms should be thought of as belonging to two broad, non-medical classes: those who are undergoing a spiritual/mystical emergency, and those who do not conform to social expectations. In each case, psychiatric misunderstanding and mistreatment has led to patients' human rights being violated on a massive scale.

This seminal book is bound to lead to a re-examination of schizophrenia by patients, ex-patients, parents, psychiatrists, politicians, and the State.

Dr Richard Gosden gained his PhD, which is the basis of this book, with the Science and Technology Studies Program at the University of Wollongong.