- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (9 May 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848315562
- ISBN-13: 978-1848315563
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 151 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good Paperback – 9 May 2013
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'[Cracked] should be read by every doctor ... by everyone in politics and the media, not to mention any concerned citizen.' -- Peter Hitchens * Mail on Sunday * 'Chilling reading' -- Will Self * Guardian * 'Davies's book is a potent polemic' -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * 'If, in the world of psychiatry, the DSM is Holy Scripture, Cracked is set to become a heretical text.' -- Robert Crampton * The Times Magazine * 'A profoundly disturbing look at the world of Big Pharma ... This is an important book for anyone who has an interest in mental health.' * Daily Mail * 'Builds a disturbing picture of a profession that is in thrall to pharmaceutical companies' -- Michael Mosley * BBC Focus * 'An eye-opening and persuasive work' * Publishers Weekly * '[A] diligent study' * Financial Times * 'A well-written book ... a positive contribution to the debate about whether psychiatry can become a more open practice.' * Therapy Today * `Disturbing and uncompromising' * Kirkus Reviews * 'A very controversial, fascinating and powerful read ... full of balanced and reasonable arguments. I would strongly urge all mental health professionals, those in the caring professions as well anybody interested in mental health to read this book.' * The Psychologist * 'An engrossing book, full of interviews with patients and professionals' * GP Magazine * `I couldn't put the book down. It is totally engaging, as controversial as it is compelling, and as erudite as it is enjoyable ... The book deserves to be a bestseller and should be read by every mental health professional' * International Review of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis * I, personally, applaud a work that can shine a light into the murky corners of dubious practice' -- Alan Pope * Sitegeist * `This is an excellent book....[it] careens, almost literally, from one psychiatric outrage to the next ... I strongly recommend this book.' -- Dr Phil Hickey * Behaviourism and Mental Health * `This thought-provoking book will make people think twice before sitting on a psychiatrist's couch or filling a prescription' * Booklist * This is a very well-written book - intellectually sound, but written in an accessible way ... It should be read by all mental health professionals, by all politicians and policy makers charged with shaping future mental health provision' -- Dr Neil Thompson * Social Justice Solutions * `You will be illuminated and often shocked and certainly made to think more about how you view the children in your care. Every teacher should read it' * International School Magazine *
About the Author
James Davies obtained his PhD in medical and social anthropology from the University of Oxford. He is also a qualified psychotherapist (having worked in the NHS), and a senior lecturer in social anthropology and psychology at the University of Roehampton, London. He has delivered lectures at many universities, including Harvard, Brown, CUNY, Oxford and London, and has written articles about psychiatry for the New Scientist, Therapy Today and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin.
He is author of The Importance of Suffering: the value and meaning of emotional discontent (Routledge, 2011). He lives with his wife and daughter in Shepherd’s Bush, London.
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I already knew that psychiatry 'medicalises' normal spectrum behaviours.
However, I did learn a lot from this book:
1) That the medical model of schizophrenia is not proven
2) That placebo ECT studies (where an electric shock is administered in people with severe depression) have demonstrated a larger placebo effect
3) That ECT is extremely damaging to the brain
Chapter 12 was the most shocking chapter for me where he convincingly demonstrates the huge cultural influences in mental health problems through the anorexia 'epidemic' in Japan, a country which saw a huge upsurge in this problem, which prior had been largely a western issue, after masses of media coverage of a single death from it. The most shocking part of the chapter was the correlation of self-harm with references to it in popular culture (please spare me the correlation doesn't equal causation phoney argument and review the history of epidemiology).
The book reads very well, and should be read by all doctors as Peter Hitchens says.
The one aspect I feel the book could have improved was giving a bigger role to the evidence around schizophrenia. He does talk about it, even has an appendix on it, but does not go into the depths he does for depression and behavioural disorders. In fact, his description of how people who hear voices fare in countries where there isn't any stigma was extremely interesting.
So, where does this leave my impressions of psychiatry? Being brutally honest, it leaves it as a specialty that seeks to be God, that is lazy in seeking drugs over prolonged counselling, that isn't really medicine in the same way neurology is, that has been thoroughly corrupted by pharmaceutical companies and that needs much greater emphasis on psychological counselling.
As if by magic, the author is a qualified psychotherapist.
And what about the patients; the disease model allowed psychiatry to brush off the 'they're just mad' put down. However, is this not true? Regardless, abandoning the false disease model means patients have more control than they ever thought of their own mental health. However, because this goes against the agenda of the times, it is unlikely to be realised.
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