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Reconstructing Schizophrenia Paperback – 5 Mar 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (5 Mar. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415075246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415075244
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Bentall is Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
It might appear that the history of the concept of schizophrenia has been well documented: a number of texts (for example, Leigh 1961; Hunter and MacAlpine 1963; Jones 1972) describe the historical background against which concepts like schizophrenia were to emerge, while texts or articles which discuss 'schizophrenia', whether academic (for example, Lewis 1966; Neale and Oltmanns 1980; Strauss and Carpenter 1981) or aimed at a wider audience (for example, Wing 1978; Clare 1980) give due consideration to Kraepelin's introduction and elaboration of the concept of dementia praecox in the fifth and subsequent editions of his textbook, to his disagreements with Bleuler, and to Bleuler's introduction of the concept of schizophrenia. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Ann Ingham on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I scholarly and thought provoking work. Should be read by all working in the mental health field and patients and their families.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating Collection 31 Oct. 2001
By disco75 - Published on
Format: Paperback
While the writing in this assembly of essays varies in style, approach, and complexity, the overall theme of examining the concept of "schizophrenia" is absorbing and enlightening. As a psychologist I found it gratifying to see others in my field questioning the accepted concepts and assumptions. The book is probably more technical than the average reader would prefer; for mental health professionals teaching abnormal psychology or using the DSMIV in treatment it is essential reading.
The book contains 11 essays. I found three particularly compelling. Mary Boyle's chapter, The Non-Discovery of Schizophrenia?, considers whether the "schizophrenia" classification qualifies as a disease. She defines diease classifications, looks at the history of the "schizophrenia" label, considers the meaning of the highly variable course of symptoms, and reveals the failure to demonstrate a consistent syndrome of symptoms. She shows that many of the symptoms classified by early researchers may actually have been syphillis, encephalitis, and Parkinson's. The way that later researchers uncritically and rather carelessly accepted these mistakes suggests that apart from the presence of psychotic symptoms, there may not be any basis to a progressive disease called "schizophrenia."
Richard Bentall's essay is titled The Syndromes and Symptoms of Psychoses. He carefully considers the issues of reliablity and validity in diagnosis and demonstrates how many differences there are amongst the symptoms of persons labelled as "schizophrenic." He shows how people do not show a discrete dividing line between psychotic and non-psychotic. He says "given that schizophrenia appears to be a disorder with no particular symptoms, no particular course, no particular outcome, and which responds to no particular treatment, it is unsurprising that 100 years of research has failed to establish that it has any partiucular cause." He then looks at the four types of psychotic symptoms, hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, and negative symptoms, and hypothesizes a model for exploring the role of each of these in behavioral disorders.
David Pilgrim's Competing Histories of Madness looks at the ways that deviant behavior has been handled in earlier societies and traces the economic and professional goals that have contributed to our current ways of thinking about "mental illness."
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