Top critical review
Ok but polemical guide to a much needed topic, with some irritating factual errors in it
11 November 2017
A mixed bag. On the one hand this book is a very readable and clearly set out opinion on the debate around the pitfalls of making psychiatric diagnoses HOWEVER I am concerned that the book markets itself as ‘a straight talking introduction’ when actually, is a polemic written from a particular point of view. I think it would make a good choice for someone who is doing background reading on this topic, although there are errors, for example, there is very worrying line towards the end (p. 104) where Ms Johnstone claims that the term schizophrenia could be replaced with the term ‘dissociative disorder’ which demonstrates a failure to understand the symptoms of either condition accurately.
For more in this area, I also recommend RD Laing’s The Divided Self and Tomas Szaz The Myth of Mental Illness are classics as are Irving Goffman’s ‘Asylum’ or Stigma.