Is the Anti-Psychiatry Movement Harmful?

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Anti-psychiatry is a loose social movement that first emerged in the 1960s in Europe and the US, and it began as an ideological response to the treatment of mental illness in asylums at the time. Those supporting the movement were concerned about the poor conditions of many of these asylums, as well as the abusive and inhumane treatment that patients were subject to. In addition, anti-psychiatrists believed that the process of institutionalising patients in asylums, in general, would not aid their recovery but frustrate it. Anti-psychiatrists also argued that conditions like schizophrenia could not be real diseases because they did not involve any obvious brain changes, nor could they be detected by a physical test. Then there was the issue of psychiatry pathologising minority groups, such as homosexuals.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on January 12, 2021.

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