Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry by Jeffrey Lieberman – review

This history of (American) psychiatry by a high-ranking insider is ultimately too partial and limited in scope

Journeying through the history of psychiatry with Jeffrey A Lieberman is not unlike being led by Voltaire’s indomitable optimist, Professor Pangloss, through the seven years’ war and the Lisbon earthquake.

Psychiatry’s past may have been blinded by mesmerists and fast-talking snake-oil sellers. There may have been brutal incarceration of the “mad”, terror, torture by insulin coma, surgery and electricity, and too many Freudian years of rooting around in buried familial sites. But all is now for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The asylums have closed. Chemistry is in. Psychiatry has at last fully joined its fellows in medical departments and attained a sound scientific footing. Psychiatrists can hold their heads high. Evidence-based diagnoses and effective treatments rule, alongside brain and genetic research. You could say there’s never been a better time to qualify for the hundreds of disorders the bestselling DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) describes and get your insurance provider to foot the bill for the latest pharmaceuticals, plus the current chat of choice – cognitive behavioural therapy.

Related: Psychiatrist who championed ‘gay cure’ admits he was wrong

It’s difficult to share Lieberman’s triumphalist certainties

Continue reading…
Pharmaceuticals industry | The Guardian

© 2017 Drugs News All rights reserved.       Privacy Policy       Contact Us