Szasz, Now More Than Ever – DSM VI

Thomas Szasz has a new book coming out this Fall: ANTIPSYCHIATRY: Quackery Squared. Syracuse University Press summarizes the book:

Szasz rejected, and continues to reject, psychiatry and antipsychiatry with equal vigor. Subsuming his work under the rubric of antipsychiatry betrays and negates it just as surely and effectively as subsuming it under the rubric of psychiatry. In Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared, Szasz powerfully argues that his writings belong to neither psychiatry nor antipsychiatry. They stem from conceptual analysis, social-political criticism, and common sense.

Szasz’s iconoclastic views are especially relevant now because the American Psychiatric Association is getting ready to uncork a new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. The guidebook is deftly calibrated to insure full employment for shrinks across the land. Among the new mental illnesses the manual will sanctify: compulsive shopping, Internet addiction, and Night Eating Syndrome (eating a pizza after 10 pm). Folks should remember Szasz’s great line: “Psychiatrists manufacture mental diagnoses the way the Vatican manufactures saints.”

Szasz has devoted his career to defending the freedom of individuals to peacefully live however they damn well choose, regardless of the opinion of experts. The fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Myth of Mental Illness is coming up in 2011. This landmark deserves celebrations by anyone who believes that doctors should not be treated as gods.


One Response to Szasz, Now More Than Ever – DSM VI

  1. Steven July 14, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Great! Szasz has an article on today too..