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date: 21 January 2022

p. 835. Madness deniedlocked

p. 835. Madness deniedlocked

  • Andrew Scull


‘Madness denied’ shows how the violence and mass slaughter of the 20th century influenced cultural perceptions of madness. The almost unique cultural authority of psychoanalysis in America was largely due to the impact of war on American troops, and the efforts of military doctors to treat them. Psychoanalysts attributed much mental illness to the psychopathology of family life, Laing attacking neurobiological accounts of mental illness and its treatment and claiming society was sick, not the mental patient. The 1960s and 1970s saw assaults on psychiatry's pretensions and claims to expertise in managing mental illness, while feminist writers came to view psychiatrists as quintessential male oppressors, utilizing psychiatry to reinforce patriarchy.

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