Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction explains what psychiatry is, and what it is not. It identifies the major mental illnesses and explains why they are no longer considered just variations of ‘normality’. It charts changing fashions in the care of the mentally ill, and looks at psychoanalysis and more recent, more accessible psychotherapies. This VSI also addresses the abuses of psychiatry — from mundane neglect and bizarre treatments through to political abuse by totalitarian regimes. Modern psychiatry too brings with it new controversies such as the medicalization of normal life, the power of the drug companies and the use of psychiatry as an agent of social control.