In Search of Madness: A Psychiatrist’s Travels Through the History of Mental Illness



Who is ‘mad’? Who is not? And who decides?

In this fascinating new exploration of mental illness, Professor Brendan Kelly examines ‘madness’ in history and how we have responded to it over the centuries.

We travel from the psychiatric institutions of India to Victorian scientific studies of the brain. We discover the beginnings of formal asylum care and witness the experimental ‘therapies’ of the cavernous psychiatric hospitals of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Ireland, England, Belgium, Italy, Germany and the US.

Covering institutionalization, lobotomy and the Nazis’ ‘Aktion T4’, as well as Freud, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and neuroscience, Professor Kelly examines the shift from ‘psychobabble’ to ‘neurobabble’ in recent times.

In Search of Madness is an all-encompassing history of one of the most basic fears to haunt the human psyche, and it concludes with a passionate manifesto for change: four proposals to make mental health services more effective, accessible and just.

ISBN: 9780717193783
Publisher: Gill Books
Pub Date: 03/2023
Format: Paperback

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