The Myth of Mental Illness

The Myth of Mental Illness : Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct

3.78 (1,308 ratings by Goodreads)
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Thomas Szasz's classic book revolutionised thinking throughout the world about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices. By diagnosing behaviour problems as 'mental illness', psychiatry, Szasz argues, absolves the individual of responsibility for his actions, placing blame instead on the illness. In "The Myth of Mental Illness", he attacks Freudian psychology as a dangerous pseudo-science and critiques the overreach of psychology into all aspects of modern life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 21mm | 270g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 50th Anniversary, Updated ed.
  • 0061771228
  • 9780061771224
  • 17,894

Back cover copy

50th Anniversary Edition With a New Preface and Two Bonus Essays

The most influential critique of psychiatry ever written, Thomas Szasz's classic book revolutionized thinking about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices. By diagnosing unwanted behavior as mental illness, psychiatrists, Szasz argues, absolve individuals of responsibility for their actions and instead blame their alleged illness. He also critiques Freudian psychology as a pseudoscience and warns against the dangerous overreach of psychiatry into all aspects of modern life.
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Review quote

"The landmark book that argued that psychiatry consistently expands its definition of mental illness to impose its authority over moral and cultural conflict." - New York Times

"Enormously courageous and highly infomative, and it makes fascinating reading . . . bold and often brilliant." - Science

"Controversial and influential . . . an iconoclastic work." - Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review

"Szasz's radical views on mental illness and drug addiction have been presented with great consistency and courage . . . I predict that Dr. Szasz's work and thought will once again come to the fore: he takes the long view." - Will Self, The Times (London)

"A classic." -

"A damning critique of mental illness . . . a classic work." - Toronto Star

"Quite probably, Szasz has done more than any other man to alert the American public to the potential dangers of an excessively psychiatrized society." - Atlantic Monthly
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About Thomas S. Szasz

Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York in Syracuse, where he has taught since 1956.
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Rating details

1,308 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 31% (411)
4 32% (422)
3 24% (309)
2 8% (111)
1 4% (55)
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