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The Manufacture of Madness: Institutional Psychiatry and Violence

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Dec 5, 2023, 10:10:44 AM12/5/23
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The principal problem in psychiatry has always been, and still is, violence:
the threatened and feared violence of the "madman", and the actual
counterviolence of the society and the psychiatrist against him.
The result is dehumanization, oppression, and persecution of the citizen
branded "mentally ill". If this is so, we had better heed John Stuart Mill's
warning that "... it is contrary to reason and experience to suppose that
there can be any real check to brutality, consistent with leaving the
victim still in the power of the executioner."

The best, indeed the only, hope for remedying the problem of
"mental illness" lies in weakening - not in strengthening - the power
of Institutional Psychiatry.

Only when this peculiar institution is abolished will the moral powers of
uncoerced psychiatry be released. Only then will the potentials of
Contractual Psychiatry be able to unfold - as a creative human dialogue
unfettered by institutional loyalties and social taboos, pledged to
serving the individual in his perpetual struggle to rise, not only above
the constraints of instinct, but also above the myth.

Dr. Thomas Szasz, "The Manufacture of Madness"
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