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How did the researchers select the group of thought disordered patients in the first place? Surely because they heard these patients talk in an unusual way i.

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So all these psychological tests prove nothing more than that thought disordered patients are I'm not sure who Bentall intended as an audience. Surely not professionals like psychiatrists or psychologists when he writes things like "don't worry, you won't need any knowledge of maths to understand what I am going to say".

And surely not the general public and possibly those suffering with mental illness, as they will get bogged down in a tedium of research results pro and con, and wont get past the first few chapters. As they will be looking for CLEAR explanations about their condition and some practical advise on how to deal with their problems - and there is none of that in this book. All in all, this book is a failed enterprise, and not worth the effort. Nov 23, Abailart rated it it was amazing.

I am going to enjoy this. From the start it exposes that the way out of the epistemological quagmire that surrounds discussions of mental health or whatever you call it is to agree to agree with the most rudimentary taxonomies and classification systems provided they have coherence, stability and reliability. Validity need never be in question in a world where pragmatic silencing in all its meanings is 'result' enough. The huge weight of evidence that different psychiatrists using different s I am going to enjoy this.

The huge weight of evidence that different psychiatrists using different systems from different cultures, plus other arbitrary factors, makes 'diagnosis' and 'care' a lottery. The conceptualisation of 'madness' is problematised: The entire sweep of ideological assumptions going on suggests that we are in the dark ages when it comes to understanding the concepts of personal identity and individuality undivideness. This is not a quick read. It is textured with particulars and details, but therein is a refreshing and much-needed antidote to the sweepings of commercialised 'cures', teleological control, and damaging gross sentimentality.

It may enable a few readers who are service users to gain some perspective on the field, to some extent at least to 'stand above' expertise and hidden assumptions for instance as evidenced in the unconscious stigmatisations and prejudices within the well-meaning non-statutory support systems and networks and be able to negotiate a 'recovery' from much broader resources, the 'mental health' field offering a scope of such resources, not any of which need necessarily utilising.

However, I think realistically that this book is not for everybody: For me, what I particular appreciate about the book is the central emphasis upon emotion. The expression of an individual has, of course, some relationship with the 'inner feelings', yet for clarity the inner world can be considered as an autonomous region, a place of subjective narratives and mood texture. The apparent 'flatness' or other mask of an individual should not and cannot be taken as a totalised encoding of their subjectivity, and hence a therapist's work, and indeed an individual's own interior work, has to be down where the outer social functioning is 'cut through', and this latter phrase is with reference to my review of Janic Galloway's, 'The Trick is to Keep Breathing'.

Jan 30, Greta rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book provides plenty of evidence that the current model of diagnosing and treating psychosis leaves a lot to be desired. The author writes as if he's chatting with the reader while citing and footnoting endless research studies and other evidence to support his hypotheses and claims. It sort of reads as a whodunnit in that he starts out investigating, proving and substantiating his assertion that human nature is more than just sanity and insanity, mental health and mental illness.

We're not This book provides plenty of evidence that the current model of diagnosing and treating psychosis leaves a lot to be desired. We're not so black and white it seems, and we need to look more into learning how to live in the grey.

Is human nature evil? Or is the violence of nature to blame?

This involves treating compassionately what we can and accepting more as "normal" what we can't. Because psychosis appears to be part of the human legacy, there is hope that if we learn to deal with it better, we just might evolve to phase it out. Apr 02, Maria rated it really liked it.

Review: Madness Explained by Richard P Bentall | Books | The Guardian

A very good, academic overview of how the problems with psychiatry and its traditional views of madness developed. To me, the final section of the book, which was obviously the author's passion, should have been expanded. This was also obviously his original intention, but he was told to limit it for space reasons something he mentions in the book.

I hope he went on to write other books. Aug 09, Eloise Bookish Worm rated it really liked it. Jan 18, Waldez Da s. Oct 24, Evan rated it really liked it. A perfect introduction for people interested in a scientific approach to psychopathology. Mar 10, William Sandnes rated it it was amazing. Madness Explained takes you on a journey through psychiatric history, research and development, and argues that the long-prevailing doctrine after Emil Kraepelin is deficient regarding many aspects.

Without reducing the book to a sentence, the main theme of the book is that psychosis and different kinds of mental disorders should be viewed as variations of normal psychology - that it belongs on a continuum between sane and insane, rather than being a different entity. He argues that we should no Madness Explained takes you on a journey through psychiatric history, research and development, and argues that the long-prevailing doctrine after Emil Kraepelin is deficient regarding many aspects.

He argues that we should not reduce mental disorders to a disroder of the brain, but a disorder which encompasses the whole individual. Through the book Bentall shows how to acquire a more nuanced perspective on mental disorders, and tells us to consider complaints rather than symptoms, arguing that the line between disorder and normal functioning should be drawn when symptoms are percieved as negative in the eyes of the patient.

I am Norwegian so my English may be a bit poor. Aug 20, Terri-louise Fountain rated it liked it. I have to give this book a neutral rating of 3 stars. Whilst it is well written and easy to read especially for those unfamiliar to the subject, I personally disagree with some of the points made.

Whilst I agree that there are faults within the bio-medical model and its treatments, I can't completely accept the cognitive model as in this book, as there are some equally awful research papers with poorly constructed statistics on both sides. What I do appreciate though is the authors acceptance th I have to give this book a neutral rating of 3 stars. What I do appreciate though is the authors acceptance that there are many uncertainties in mental health Sep 29, Alannah Clarke rated it liked it Shelves: An interesting book but also something I never thought I would have to read for an English Literature module, on the surface it does look like something somebody would use for psychology.

But overall it's something that can easily be used to help understand the mental illness I see in my module as the book is well written and offers such an interesting argument. Apr 05, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: It's very academic, and pages in I was becoming slightly tired with the repetition of the book. This study suggests this, this study suggests that etc. Read it if you work in this field or are just interested in psychosis in general.

Dec 21, Mike rated it really liked it Shelves: Bentall is a non-Christian psychologist who doesn't buy in to the medical model for the description and explanation of madness. A very good book for an explanation of the history of mental illness and another good explanation for the etiology of schizophrenia. Jul 30, Rashad Raoufi added it. Sep 01, Helene rated it it was amazing. A scientific page turner is not something you come across often. Capable of changing your perspective, and very educational.

Reading this book liberated me from some of my symptoms, just from knowing their nature and origin. Apr 22, Stephanie rated it it was amazing. It is, however, hugely interesting and well written and offers compelling analysis throughout. Oct 22, Rachel rated it it was amazing. There is some info as well about who ends up becoming mentally ill.

Nov 05, Stamcho rated it it was amazing Shelves: Apr 26, Angus MacHaggis rated it really liked it. Now I know me madness better!!! Dec 07, Natalie rated it it was amazing. An excellent introduction to the fundamentals of history and philosophy of psychology, paired with radically new approach to psychiatric issues.

Sep 03, Jasper rated it it was amazing. Feb 03, Yolande rated it it was amazing Shelves: I do agree with his basic premises that hallucinations are encountered in "normaL" people and that mania is often an adaptive psychological mechanism to extreme depression. I also think that classifying mental illnesses doesn't really help treatment. It merely often just labels people. He made excellent points but his presentation could have included more interactions with his clients.

Madness Explained

This would have made the book much more interesting. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. The philosopher Karl Jaspers, who was trained as a psychiatrist, made a distinction between "understanding" and "explaining" madness. He argued that in the case of psychoses, the most severe form of mental illness, no attempt should be made at understanding what appears as incoherent speech or meaningless behavior by investigating a patient's background and making sense of what he has to say.

Rather, psychologists should try to explain psychotic behavior by dividing patients into discrete categories and establishing causal links that should ultimately point towards brain malfunctions or genetic defects. Richard Bentall shows us that attempts to explain and to understand mental symptoms are inextricably linked. Rather than postulating an unambiguous dividing line between the mentally sane and the insane, he proposes that irrational beliefs and abnormal behaviors manifested by psychotic patients can be seen as the far end of a continuum on which people are distributed.

The differences between those who are diagnosed as suffering from a psychiatric disorder and those who are not amount to relatively little, and these differences appear to be understandable when viewed in the context of what we know about normal human psychology. The classification of psychiatric disorders into neuroses such as benign forms of depression or phobias and psychoses such as manic depression and schizophrenia dates back to Emil Kraepelin and a number of Karl Jaspers' contemporaries.

Although the concepts originally formulated by German psychiatrists at the turn of the twentieth century underwent a series of transformations, the idea that psychiatric disorders fall into a finite number of categories remain the organizing principle for psychiatric practice and research, as evidenced by the successive editions of the DSM diagnostic manual.

For Bentall, these classifications have little more scientific value than astrological predictions based on zodiac signs. According to his rather extreme contention, we should abandon psychiatric diagnoses altogether and instead try to explain and understand the actual experiences and behaviors of psychotic people. Bentall then moves on to show how psychological research can cast light on phenomena such as hallucinatory voices, depressed mood, delusional beliefs, manic episodes and incoherent speech.

Once the various psychotic complaints have been explained in this way, Bentall claims that the ghostly conundrum of madness evaporates: Some readers may argue that experimental clinical psychology only scratches the surface and does not allow us to delve into the depths of the human psyche, as psychoanalysis has accustomed us to do. To this, Bentall would object, first, that he uses some of the insights of psychoanalysis as working hypotheses in his models and, second, that theories that cannot be tested experimentally are not worth considering.

After reading this book you will never look at anyone with mental illness the same way; and if you have mental illness you will never look down on yourself or your situation. There is hope, although those with mental illness need to carefully navigate through therapy with the goal of achieving better overall mental health. In reading this book you realize psychotherapy today is a blend of science and the artistry of the therapist, moving the client forward in gradual steps.

This a good book to an extent in its dealing about psychosis always has a morsel of truth in it, no matter how small the psychosis is. He doesnt negate the biological aspect of psychosis, yet believes there are psychological factors involved. One person found this helpful. This book was recommended to me, with the idea to explain madness to me.

It is a very lengthy book and at times the book seems to go on and on about the author's own life, which I found to be boring. Psychosis and Human Nature is probably an attempt to keep individuals with a spectrum of serious mental illness symptoms out of the clinical setting - where they really should be treated. Richard Bentall is a doctor himself, I believe he is a trained Clinical Psychologist. He explains that he too has experienced symptoms of mental illness, and that he continued to practice as a psychologist, when in fact he probably should not have.


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  3. Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature - Richard P Bentall - Google Книги!
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I enjoyed the book. It is written in a free flowing style without the constant symptom-language of doctors. I do not think this book explains the whole picture of psychosis well though. I believe Richard P. Bentall is trying to educate the community into how to look at psychological processes in order to live with them instead of seeking treatment or possible cures for them.

Bentall under-estimates serious mental illness and I do not really believe this book to describe Madness properly. I enjoyed the read, but I also remained critical of the contents, and was aware it was written by a psychologists versus a doctor or psychiatrist whom may both have different takes on Madness.

Judging from the finished product, I'm guessing that Penguin ran a hard copy of the book through a scanner and then did minimal proof-reading. Sentences that probably spanned page breaks in the original are not rejoined in the electronic edition. Similarly, tables and charts are plopped down in the middle of sentences. I'm probably going to keep it, because the content is that good, but shame on Penguin. See all 17 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 8 months ago. Published 1 year ago.

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