Current psychiatric practices are based on pseudo-scientific assumptions that are barely more valid than those of witchcraft and demonic possession that dominated society's approach to madness in bygone centuries. The author's 33 years of experience working as a mental health professional - psychiatric nurse, clinical psychologist and manager - has enabled the creation of a distinctive insider account of the shameful failings of the Western psychiatric system. Not only is the evidence for psychiatry's deficiencies comprehensively reviewed, but disturbing anecdotes are shared to illustrate how these failings are currently playing out within a psychiatric service near you.
Gary Sidley worked within NHS mental health services for 33 years in a variety of nursing, psychological and managerial roles. In the 1980s he was employed as a psychiatric nurse a large asylum in Manchester, commencing his clinical psychology training in 1989. Subsequently, he worked as a clinical psychologist in community mental health services, inpatient units and GP practices. Gary opted for early retirement in 2013 and currently is a freelance writer and trainer with an interest in promoting alternatives to bio-medical psychiatry as ways of responding to human suffering.
1. The Psychiatric Asylum Part I: The doctors assume control of the mentally disordered Part II: Routine and conformity 2. An Illness Like Any Other Part I: Where it all went wrong Part II: The pernicious assumption of underlying deficits 3. Witches of the Twenty-First Century Part I: The stigma of being a psychiatric patient Part II: Discrimination in action 4. The Witch-Finder Generals Part I: Psychiatry and the misuse of power Part II: Who is in charge here? 5. Let the Doctors and Nurses Treat You Part I: Passivity and submissiveness Part II: The debilitated must take it easy and follow instructions 6. Risk Distortion and Risk Aversion Part I: Bureaucracy and defensive practice Part II: Action plans, policies and sharp edges 7. There is No Hope for the Brain-Diseased Part I: Pessimism and low expectation Part II: We shouldn't expect too much 8. An Unholy Alliance Part I: Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry Part II: Currying favour 9. A Basic Lack of Compassion Part I: Coldness and spite Part II: If I don't think you're mad, you must be bad 10. How Can We Improve the Mental Health of the Population?