The fascinating story of psychiatry's origins, demise, and redemption, by the former President of the American Psychiatric Association.
Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining "lunatics" in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public.
But, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medicine" has been anything but smooth.
In Shrinks, Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of "shrinks" to its late blooming maturity -- beginning after World War II -- as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field - from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel -- Shrinks is a gripping and illuminating read, and an urgent call-to- arms to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses by treating them as diseases rather than unfortunate states of mind.
Fascinating introduction to the history of psychiatry - manages to cover a lot of ground and a lot of different perspectives. My only complaint is that I'd prefer it to be about twice as long!
People shouldn't practice psychiatry, much less write about it, unless they suffer mental illness. This book is illuminating, but depressing. It's like Nietzsche's assessment of Darwin: true, but dangerous. These "empiricists" may keep us alive at the cost of our dignity.