• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A Short Introduction to Psychiatry is designed to give readers a clear picture of the profession of psychiatry as it is today as well as an understanding of the subject from which to develop further study. The author describes the development of the profession, the route to qualification and the scope of contemporary practice, including the work done by psychiatrists in a range of specialisms - from child psychiatry to addiction services and forensic psychiatry. Drawing on the experience of people who have been through psychiatric treatment, the book also explores what psychiatry is like from the patient's/user's perspective. Many criticisms have been levelled against the profession and the author, Linda Gask, summarizes key debates which have been and continue to be played out between ...

The Scope and Limits of Psychiatry
The scope and limits of psychiatry

Different views prevail in the literature about what is the legitimate business of the psychiatrist. In a recent article in the British Medical Journal, Duncan Double (2002), who is active in the Critical Psychiatry Network (see p. 98, note 8) questioned the expansion of psychiatry over recent decades and the process by which common emotional problems have become medicalized. In his view mental health care has come to function as a panacea for many different personal and social problems. He considers that the expansion of psychiatry is reflected in the dramatic increase in the diagnosis of ‘attention-deficit disorder’ in children for which the prescription of stimulant drugs has considerably increased. But does this necessarily ...

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