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Brain Evangelists: How Psychiatry Has Convinced Us to Believe in Its Far-Fetched Science and Dubious Treatments

Length: 362 pages10 hours


In Brain Evangelists, renowned psychiatrist Gordon Warme, MD, blows the whistle on modern psychiatry. In irresistible, darkly amusing prose, he argues that, in the long history of medicine, biological and chemical “abnormalities” in psychiatric patients have never been identified. He insists that labels such as schizophrenia and depression are misleading metaphors that dehumanize patients and authorize psychiatrists to do the unthinkable: remove patients’ civil rights, hospitalize without warrant, and administer powerful drugs against patients’ wills.

Provocatively, Warme does not hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for psychiatry’s bad habits. Instead, he says, we should point the finger at the people prescribing the drugs—psychiatrists. Weaving his powerful argument with riveting anecdotes; cultural phenomena; and luminous references to ancient myths, literature, and art, Warme calls for a brand new psychiatry––one that rejects pseudo-science and outdated ideologies. Rather than concentrating on superficial advice and quick fixes, psychiatry should, he says, concentrate on patients’ darker inclinations. Above all, this remarkable book celebrates the complexity of the human psyche and self-knowledge as recovery—despite grim life continuing as always.

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