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Madness Explained : Psychosis and Human Nature - Richard P Bentall

Madness Explained

Psychosis and Human Nature

Paperback Published: 29th April 2004
ISBN: 9780140275407
Number Of Pages: 656
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Is madness purely a medical condition that can be treated with drugs? Is there really a clear dividing line between mental health and mental illness - or is it not so easy to classify who is sane and who is insane?

In Madness Explained leading clinical psychologist Richard Bentall shatters the modern myths that surround psychosis. This groundbreaking work argues that we cannot define madness as an illness to be cured like any other; that labels such as 'schizophrenia' and 'manic depression' are meaningless, based on nineteenth-century classifications; and that experiences such as delusions and hearing voices are in fact exaggerations of the mental foibles to which we are all vulnerable.

We need, Bentall argues, a radically new way of thinking about psychiatric problems - one that does not reduce madness to brain chemistry, but understands and accepts it as part of human nature.

Industry Reviews

This is a book to seduce a new generation into psychiatry and psychology. ("The Independent Magazine") Madness Explained is a substantial, yet highly accessible work. Full of insight and humanity, it deserves a wide readership. ("Paul Brooks, "Sunday Times")

a new insight on mental illness


This puts a new concept on mental illness. It revises the teachings on psychoses and neuroses over the past sixty years' It makes one think.

Margaret River, Western Australia


Madness Explained

5.0 1


Author's preface
Emil Kraepelin's big idea : the origins of modern psychiatric theoryp. 3
After Kraepelin : how the standard approach to psychiatric classification evolvedp. 19
The great classification crisis : how it was discovered that the standard system was scientifically meaninglessp. 41
Fool's gold : why psychiatric diagnoses do not workp. 67
The boundaries of madness : why there is no boundary between sanity and madnessp. 95
Them and us : modern psychiatry as a cultural systemp. 118
The significance of biology : psychosis, the brain and the concept of 'disease'p. 149
Mental life and human nature : madness and the social brainp. 179
Madness and emotion : human emotions and the negative symptoms of psychosisp. 205
Depression and the pathology of self : core psychological processes that are important in severe mental illnessp. 233
A colourful malady : the psychology of maniap. 270
Abnormal attitudes : the psychology of delusional beliefsp. 293
On the paranoid world view : towards a unified theory of depression, mania and paranoiap. 330
The illusion of reality : the psychology of hallucinationsp. 347
The language of madness : the communication difficulties of psychotic patientsp. 378
Things are much more complex than they seem : the instability of psychosis, and the solution to the riddle of psychiatric classificationp. 405
From the cradle to the clinic : psychosis considered from a developmental perspectivep. 436
The trials of life : how life experiences shape madnessp. 464
Madness and society : some implications of post-Kraepelinian psychopathologyp. 494
App: A glossary of technical and scientific termsp. 513
Notesp. 527
Indexp. 623
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140275407
ISBN-10: 0140275401
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 656
Published: 29th April 2004
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.1  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.44
Edition Number: 1