On the legacy of Thomas Szasz: A reiteration of The Myth of Mental Illness and response to recent criticism

Paul Counter, Robert Spillane

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteArticle

Abstract

In the 50th anniversary issue of The Myth of Mental Illness, Szasz conceded that, conceptually, his argument had been ignored because of the promulgation that mental illnesses are diseases of the brain. Responding to a recent editorial by T. Benning in the British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin, which is somewhat critical of Szasz's conceptual arguments, we argue that such criticisms are inaccurate. We highlight how no mental illness stands up to pathological scrutiny, yet treatments can cause iatrogenesis. In addition, we elaborate on how Szasz argued that the false concept of mental illness results in legal fictions. It is therefore important to defend and restate Szasz's main thesis and conceptual arguments in light of recent criticism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages150-160
Number of pages11
Volume19
No.3
Specialist publicationEthical Human Psychology and Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Insanity
  • Mental illness
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Schizophrenia
  • Szasz

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