Cloth $46.00 ISBN: 9780226353814 Published January 2002
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226353821 Published September 2003

Creating Mental Illness

Allan V. Horwitz

Allan V. Horwitz

2001, 2003
315 pages | 2 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2001, 2003
Cloth $46.00 ISBN: 9780226353814 Published January 2002
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226353821 Published September 2003
In this surprising book, Allan V. Horwitz argues that our current conceptions of mental illness as a disease fit only a small number of serious psychological conditions and that most conditions currently regarded as mental illness are cultural constructions, normal reactions to stressful social circumstances, or simply forms of deviant behavior.

"Thought-provoking and important. . .Drawing on and consolidating the ideas of a range of authors, Horwitz challenges the existing use of the term mental illness and the psychiatric ideas and practices on which this usage is based. . . . Horwitz enters this controversial territory with confidence, conviction, and clarity."—Joan Busfield, American Journal of Sociology

"Horwitz properly identifies the financial incentives that urge therapists and drug companies to proliferate psychiatric diagnostic categories. He correctly identifies the stranglehold that psychiatric diagnosis has on research funding in mental health. Above all, he provides a sorely needed counterpoint to the most strident advocates of disease-model psychiatry."—Mark Sullivan, Journal of the American Medical Association

"Horwitz makes at least two major contributions to our understanding of mental disorders. First, he eloquently draws on evidence from the biological and social sciences to create a balanced, integrative approach to the study of mental disorders. Second, in accomplishing the first contribution, he provides a fascinating history of the study and treatment of mental disorders. . . from early asylum work to the rise of modern biological psychiatry."—Debra Umberson, Quarterly Review of Biology

American Sociological Assn.: ASA Best Publication in Mental Health Award
Won

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Mark Sullivan | Journal of the American Medical Association
“[Horwitz] properly identifies the financial incentives that urge therapists and drug companies to proliferate psychiatric diagnostic categories. He correctly identifies the stranglehold that psychiatric diagnosis has on research funding in mental health. Above all, he provides a sorely needed counterpoint to the most strident advocates of disease-model psychiatry.”
George Graham | Metapsychology
"This is a must-read book. . . . The content is superb. It is filled with insights into the social, historical, and economic forces responsible for the overmedicalization of human unhappiness and distress."
Nick Haslam | Transcultural Psychiatry
"A cogent and thought-provoking book. It deserves to be read widely and thoroughly, and not only by the already converted. In an ideal world it would be compulsory reading for mental health professionals in training."
Diane Hamilton | Nursing History Review
“Horwitz analyzes the social history of the dynamic, diagnostic, and social constructionist frameworks with enormous historical detail. He crafts fascinating arguments regarding how each framework was conceptualized, sold, measured, and the social impact that it left in its wake. . . . A fascinating, meticulously researched social history that will appeal to a wide range of academic audiences.”
Debra Umberson | Quarterly Review of Biology
“Horwitz makes at least two major contributions to our understanding of mental disorders. First, he eloquently draws on evidence from the biological and social sciences to create a balanced, integrative approach to the study of mental disorders. Second, in accomplishing the first contribution, he provides fascinating history of the study and treatment of mental disorders . . . from early asylum work to the rise of modern biological psychiatry.”
Lynn E. O’Connor | Human Nature Review
“A fascinating and scholarly critique of our classification of mental disorders.”
Contents
Preface
Introduction—The Proliferation of Mental Illnesses
1. A Concept of Mental Disorder
2. The Expansion of Mental Disorder in Dynamic Psychiatry
3. The Emergence of Diagnostic Psychiatry
4. The Extension of Mental Illnesses into the Community
5. The Structuring of Mental Disorders
6. The Biological Foundations of Diagnostic Psychiatry
7. Social Causes of Distress
8. Diagnostic Psychiatry and Therapy
Conclusion
Mental Illnesses as Social Constructions
Notes
References
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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