Although this little book undoubtedly holds the interest of the reader I cannot help but feel that the development of the personality and of the concomitant attitudes and actions of the subjects involved are somewhat more sophisticated than accredited in the account given by Dr. Sasz. I was however impressed by the notion (which I am apt to share) that the concept of mental illness qua disease is in most cases nothing more than a convenient and superficially plausible medical phantasy generated by a system riddled with charlatanism. Dismissing the sufferering victims, seduced into the system and taken by force and chicanery as they are, as a bunch of malingering liars, however, seems to be an act of some ignorance. It is true that the DSM is a list of observed phenomenae, but as a classification of disease is largely a work of fiction.
I did ask myself whether I am a malingerer and the answer seems to be a qualified 'yes', but I do feel that once the most unpleasant physical sensations of schizophrenia are switched on and in full swing, there is a tendency to become workshy and withdrawn in the manner of a bilious old gripe, not surprising, perhaps when one considers the nature of the schizophrenic response.
In all I think I took this book with a pinch of salt whilst acknowledging that there is a smattering of truth in what Dr Satz says. What surprises me is that evolution seems to have provided the homo animal with such a comprehensive range of neurophysiological responses that equip the malingerer so well! I do not deny that there is an element of ,let us say reluctance involved as one might expect, this and malingering may, by some be considered indistinguishable.
However, God moves in mysterious ways and the ways of sin are always an option for those old immoral lunatics of the asylums. Cold bathing seems to be effective for nervous problems - perhaps it also helps with the morals.
The book was useful for me but quite frankly I feel the Dr. Satz tends to emphasize the one particular facet of mental distress to the exclusion of other aspects. The motive behind mental illness, I feel is not more nor less than chronic unhappiness and distress arising out of life's vicissitudes which at times can be unpleasant, I recall here that my own identical twin threw himself under a lorry in a fit of self blame and desperation, malingering (perhaps seen, more realistically. as reticence, apprehension and withdrawal from the unpleasant effects of nervous sensitivity and an irritable reticular system) is a secondary effect, of the child recoiling and hiding from the horror he sees (perhaps unrealistically) around him.
Ultimately I liked this piece because it is well written and engaging and any work that helps us to understand ourselves more clearly is certainly worthy of praise.
Dr Szasz presents yet another marvelous insight into what we are not being told about his profession. Iconoclastic, charismatic, wonderfully written and thrilling. Everything a good book should have but its based on real life! A fact which is more chilling than any horror/thriller I have read recently. The facts are presented in an accessible way and allow for a deeper understanding of the world of psychiatry, while not seeming unrealistic or like a wayward rant. Simply wonderful.
This book was written by a professor of Psychiatry. As a layman with no previous knowledge ppsychiatry I found the book easy to follow and well documented. It was a real eye opener to the deception practiced by psychiatrists. A must read for all who have loved ones and friends with so-called mental problems.