By Michael E. Staub

ISBN-10: 0226771490

ISBN-13: 9780226771496

Within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, a favored analysis for America's difficulties was once that society used to be changing into a madhouse. during this highbrow and cultural background, Michael E. Staub examines a time whilst many believed madness used to be a sane response to obscene social stipulations, psychiatrists have been brokers of repression, asylums have been gulags for society's undesirables, and psychological affliction was once an idea without clinical basis.

Madness Is Civilization explores the overall consensus that societal ills—from dysfunctional marriage and family members dynamics to the Vietnam struggle, racism, and sexism—were on the root of psychological ailment. Staub chronicles the surge in impact of socially attuned psychodynamic theories besides the increase of radical remedy and psychiatric survivors routine. He exhibits how the theories of antipsychiatry held remarkable sway over a big variety of clinical, social, and political debates until eventually a bruising backlash opposed to those theories—part of the response to the perceived excesses and self-absorptions of the 1960s—effectively distorted them into caricatures. all through, Staub unearths that at stake in those debates of psychiatry and politics was once not anything lower than easy methods to take into consideration the establishment of the kinfolk, the character of the self, and the clients for, and boundaries of, social change.

The first research to explain how social diagnostic considering emerged, insanity Is Civilization casts new mild at the politics of the postwar period.

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Extra resources for Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948-1980

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Courtesy of the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. ” Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 12, no. 1 (1948). Courtesy of the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. ) Once a man passed his limit, he experienced what the psychiatrists rather euphemistically labeled “operational fatigue,” which meant that all his accumulated fear simply overwhelmed him and he became unfit to fly. ” Nor were the consequences of these breakdowns solely confined to time spent in military service. As Grinker and Spiegel also observed, “the possible implications to society of the future in returning large numbers of such angry, regressed, anxiety-ridden, dependent men to civilian life” were far from inconsequential.

The Ghost of the Weed Garden” recounted the life story of Julie who was in her midtwenties when Laing met her; she had been institutionalized at the age of seventeen when she was diagnosed with hebephrenia, a form of schizophrenia whose onset coincided with adolescence and whose symptoms typically included fragmented speech and flat affect. Julie heard voices and suffered from delusions of persecution. She believed the world was coming to an end. She believed she was not a real person and that she was worthless.

But the effect on the personality is very much the same. Ego does the best it can, but sooner or later, in this complex civilization it may be overcome by troubles that result in hurt and worry. These hurts and these worries are symptoms . . 35 By the early 1950s, Menninger had come to believe that love was the key to immunizing individuals against the ravages of emotional ill health. ” In an astonishing precursor to an argument that would be made even more forcefully more than a dozen years later by renegade psychiatrist R.

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Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948-1980 by Michael E. Staub


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