Psychiatry is a battleground, criticized on the one hand as an instrument of social control, while on the other as offering lasting solutions to mental illness. Which of these contrasting positions should we believe? What is the truth about psychiatry?
In this deeply thoughtful, descriptive and sympathetic book, psychiatry professor Tom Burns explains it in full. He reviews psychiatry’s historical development, lays out the arguments over treatment, discusses where it helps, and where it is imperfect. Mental illnesses, he shows, are intimately tied to what makes us human, and the drive to relieve them is even more human. Psychiatry, for all its flaws, represents our best impulses. It is our necessary shadow.