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Anti-psychiatry is a movement based on the view that psychiatric treatment is often more damaging than helpful to patients. It considers psychiatry a coercive instrument of oppression due anripsiquiatria an unequal power relationship between doctor and patient and a highly subjective diagnostic process. It has been active in various forms for two centuries. Anti-psychiatry originates in an objection to what some view as dangerous treatments.
All modern societies permit involuntary treatment or involuntary commitment of mental patients. In the s, there were many challenges to psychoanalysis and mainstream psychiatry, where the very basis of psychiatric practice was characterized as repressive antipsiquaitria controlling. Others involved were L. Cooper coined the term “anti-psychiatry” inand wrote the book Psychiatry and Anti-psychiatry in Contemporary issues of anti-psychiatry include freedom versus coercion, racial and social justice, iatrogenic antipsiiquiatria of antipsychotic medications unintentionally induced by medical therapypersonal liberty, social stigma, and the right to be different.
The first widespread challenge to the prevailing medical approach in Bawaglia countries occurred in the antipsiquiatrai 18th century. According to Michel Foucaultthere basagglia a shift in the perception of madness, whereby it came to be seen as less about delusioni.
According to Foucault, the most prominent therapeutic technique instead became to confront patients with a healthy sound will and orthodox passions, ideally embodied by the physician. The cure then involved a process of opposition, of struggle and domination, of the patient’s troubled will by the healthy will of the physician.
It was thought the confrontation would lead not only to bring the illness into broad daylight by its resistance, but also to the victory of the sound will and the renunciation of the disturbed will. We must apply a perturbing method, to break the spasm by means of the spasm We must subjugate the whole character of some patients, antiosiquiatria their transports, break their pride, while we must stimulate and encourage the others Esquirol, J.
Foucault also argued that the increasing internment of the “mentally ill” the development of more and bigger asylums had become necessary not just for diagnosis and classification but because an enclosed place became a requirement for a treatment that was now understood as primarily the contest of wills, a question of submission and victory.
The techniques and procedures of the asylums at this time included “isolation, private or public interrogations, punishment techniques such as cold showers, moral talks encouragements or reprimandsstrict discipline, compulsory work, rewards, preferential relations between the physician and his patients, relations of vassalage, of possession, of domesticity, even of servitude between patient and physician at times”.
The effect of this shift then served to inflate the power of the physician relative to the patient, correlated with the rapid rise of internment asylums and forced detention. Other analyses suggest that the rise of asylums was primarily driven by industrialization and capitalismincluding the breakdown of the traditional family structures. And that by the end of the 19th century, psychiatrists often had little power in the overrun asylum system, acting mainly as administrators who rarely attended to patients, in a system where therapeutic ideals had turned into mindless institutional routines.
Various 19th-century critiques of the newly emerging field of psychiatry overlap thematically with 20th-century anti-psychiatry, for example in their questioning of the medicalisation of “madness”. Those critiques occurred at a time when physicians had not yet achieved hegemony through psychiatry, however, so there was no single, unified force to oppose. For example, Daniel Defoethe author of Robinson Crusoehad previously argued for more government oversight of “madhouses” and for due process prior to involuntary internment.
The Alleged Lunatics’ Friend Society arose in England in the midth century to challenge the system and campaign for rights and reforms. Throughout, the class nature of mental hospitalsand their role as agencies of control, were well recognized. And the new psychiatry was partially challenged by two powerful social institutions — the church and the legal system.
These trends have been thematically linked to the later 20th century anti-psychiatry movement. As psychiatry became more professionally established during the nineteenth century the term itself was coined in in Germany, as “Psychiatriein” and developed allegedly more invasive treatments, opposition increased. There was some organized challenge to psychiatry in the late s from the new speciality of neurology. Practitioners criticized mental hospitals for failure to conduct scientific research and adopt the modern therapeutic methods such as nonrestraint.
Together with lay reformers and social workers, neurologists formed the National Association for the Protection of the Insane and the Prevention of Insanity. However, when the lay members questioned the competence of asylum physicians to even provide proper care at all, the neurologists withdrew their support and the association floundered.
It has been noted that “the most persistent critics of psychiatry have always been former mental hospital patients”, but that very few were able to tell their stories publicly or to confront the psychiatric establishment openly, and those who did so were commonly considered so extreme in their charges that they could seldom gain credibility.
Beers campaigned to improve the plight of individuals receiving public psychiatric care, particularly those committed to state institutions, publicizing the issues in his book, A Mind that Found Itself His reliance on rich donors and his need for approval from experts led him to hand over to psychiatrists the organization he helped found, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene which eventually became the National Mental Health Association. In the s extreme hostility to psychiatrists and psychiatry was expressed by the French playwright and theater director Antonin Artaudin particular, in his book on van Gogh.
To Artaud, imagination was reality. Much influenced by the Dada and surrealist enthusiasms of the day, he considered dreamsthoughts and visions no less real than the “outside” world. To Artaud, reality appeared little more than a convenient consensus, the same kind of consensus an audience accepts when they enter a theater and, for a time, are happy to pretend what they’re seeing is real.
In this era before penicillin was discovered, eugenics was popular. People believed diseases of the mind could be passed on so compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill was enacted in many countries.
In the s several controversial medical practices were introduced, including inducing seizures by electroshockinsulin or other drugs or cutting parts of the brain apart lobotomy. In the US, between andover 50, lobotomy operations were performed in mental hospitals. But lobotomy was ultimately seen as too invasive and brutal. Holocaust historians argued that the medicalization of social programs and systematic euthanasia of people in German mental institutions in the s provided the institutional, procedural, and doctrinal origins of the mass murder of the s.
The Nazi programs were called Action T4 and Action 14f For instance this idea of a Swiss psychiatrist: Even in incurable mentally ill ones suffering seriously from hallucinations and melancholic depressions and not being able to act, to a medical colleague I would ascript the right and in serious cases the duty to shorten — often for many years — the suffering” Bleuler, Eugen, The post-World War II decades saw an enormous growth in psychiatry; many Americans were persuaded that psychiatry and psychology, particularly psychoanalysiswere a key to happiness.
Meanwhile, most hospitalized mental patients received at best decent custodial care, and at worst, abuse and neglect. The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan has been identified as an influence on later anti-psychiatry theory in the UK, and as being the first, in the s and 50s, to professionally challenge psychoanalysis to reexamine its concepts and to appreciate psychosis as understandable.
Other influences on Lacan included poetry and the surrealist movement, including the poetic power of patients’ experiences. Critics disputed this and questioned how his descriptions linked to his practical work. The names that came to be associated with the anti-psychiatry movement knew of Lacan and acknowledged his contribution even if they did not entirely agree. In The Sane SocietyFromm wrote “”An unhealthy society is one which creates mutual hostility [and] distrust, which transforms man into an instrument of use and exploitation for others, which deprives him of a sense of self, except inasmuch as he submits to others or becomes an automaton” They hold that the problem of mental health in a society is only that of the number of ‘unadjusted’ individuals, and not of a possible unadjustment of the culture itself”.
In the s new psychiatric drugs, notably the antipsychotic chlorpromazineslowly came into use. Antipsiquiatira often accepted as an advance in some ways, there was opposition, partly due to serious adverse effects such as tardive dyskinesiaand partly due their “chemical straitjacket” effect and their alleged use to control and intimidate patients.
InScientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard who basagoia stated a goal of “eradicating psychiatry from the face of this earth”. Instead through his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health the discredited antipdiquiatria of introspection as treatment as well as auditing was promoted.
In the s in the United States, a right-wing anti-mental health movement opposed psychiatry, seeing it as liberalleft-wingsubversive and anti-American or pro-Communist.
There were widespread fears that it threatened individual rights and undermined moral responsibility. An early skirmish was over the Alaska Mental Health Billwhere the right wing protestors were joined by the emerging Scientology movement. The field of psychology sometimes came into opposition with psychiatry.
Behaviorists argued that mental disorder was a matter of learning not medicine; for example, Hans Eysenck argued that psychiatry “really has no role to play”. The developing field of clinical psychology in particular came into close contact with psychiatry, often in opposition to its methods, theories and territories.
Coming to the fore in the s, “anti-psychiatry” a term first used by David Cooper in defined a movement that vocally challenged the fundamental claims and practices of mainstream psychiatry. While most of its elements had precedents in earlier decades and centuries, in the s it took on a national and international character, with access to the mass media and incorporating a wide mixture of grassroots activist organizations and prestigious professional bodies.
Cooper was a South African psychiatrist working in Britain. A trained Marxist revolutionary, he argued that the political context of psychiatry and its patients had to be highlighted and radically challenged, and warned that the fog of individualized therapeutic language could take away people’s ability to see and challenge the bigger social picture.
He spoke of having a goal of “non-psychiatry” as well as anti-psychiatry. The psychiatrists R D Laing from ScotlandTheodore Lidz from AmericaSilvano Arieti from Italy and others, argued that “schizophrenia” and psychosis were understandable, and resulted from injuries to the inner self-inflicted by psychologically invasive “schizophrenogenic” parents or others.
It was sometimes seen as a transformative state involving an attempt to cope with a sick society.
Laing, however, partially dissociated himself from his colleague Cooper’s term “anti-psychiatry”. Laing had already become a media icon through bestselling books such as The Divided Self and The Politics of Experience discussing mental distress in an interpersonal existential context; Laing was somewhat less focused than his antipsqiuiatria Cooper on wider social structures and radical left antipsiquoatria politics, and went on to develop more romanticized or mystical views as well as equivocating over the use of diagnosis, drugs and commitment.
Although the movement originally described as anti-psychiatry became associated with the general counter-culture movement of the s, Lidz and Arieti never became involved in antipsisuiatria latter. Franco Basaglia promoted anti-psychiatry in Italy and secured reforms to mental health law there. Laing, through the Philadelphia Association founded with Cooper inset up over 20 therapeutic communities including Kingsley Hallwhere staff and residents theoretically assumed equal status and any medication used was voluntary.
Non-psychiatric Soteria houses, starting in the United States, were also developed  as were various ex-patient-led services. Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz argued that ” mental illness ” is an inherently incoherent combination of a medical and a psychological concept. He opposed the use of psychiatry to forcibly detain, treat, or excuse what he saw bsaglia mere deviance from societal norms or moral conduct.
As a libertarianSzasz was concerned that such usage undermined personal rights and moral responsibility. Adherents antlpsiquiatria his views referred to “the myth of mental illness”, after Szasz’s controversial book of that name based on a paper of the same name that Szasz had written in that, following repeated rejections from psychiatric journals, had been published in the American Psychologist in .
Although widely described as part of the main anti-psychiatry movement, Szasz actively rejected the term and its adherents; instead, inhe collaborated with Scientology to form the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. It was later noted that the antipskquiatria that insanity was not in most or even in any instances a “medical” entity, but a moral issue, was also held by Christian Scientists and certain Protestant fundamentalistsas well as Szasz.
A Sntipsiquiatria of Insanity in the Age of Reasonanalyzed how attitudes towards those deemed bxsaglia had changed as a result of changes in social values. He argued that psychiatry was primarily a tool of social control, based historically on a “great confinement” of the insane and physical punishment and chains, later exchanged in the moral treatment era for psychological oppression and internalized restraint.
Franco Basaglia (Author of L’istituzione negata)
American sociologist Thomas Scheff applied labeling theory to psychiatry in in “Being Mentally Ill”. Scheff argued that society views certain actions as deviant and, in order to come to terms with and understand these actions, often places the label antipsiquiaria mental illness on those who exhibit them. Certain expectations are then placed on these individuals and, over time, they unconsciously change their behavior to fulfill them.
Observation amtipsiquiatria the abuses of psychiatry in the Soviet Union in the so-called Psikhushka hospitals also led to questioning the validity of the practice of psychiatry in the West. This raised questions as to whether the schizophrenia label and resulting involuntary psychiatric treatment could not have been similarly used in the West to subdue rebellious young people during family conflicts.
New professional approaches were developed as an alternative or reformist complement to psychiatry. Social workhumanistic or existentialist therapies, family therapycounseling and self-help and clinical psychology developed and sometimes opposed psychiatry.
Psychoanalysis was increasingly criticized as unscientific or harmful. Non-medical collaborative services were developed, for example therapeutic communities or Soteria houses.