The fascinating story of psychiatry's origins, demise, and redemption, by the former president of the American Psychiatric Association.
Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining "lunatics" in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening audiobook, the path to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medicine" has been anything but smooth.
In Shrinks Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudoscience through its adolescence as a cult of "shrinks" to its late-blooming maturity - beginning after World War II - as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field - from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel - Shrinks is a gripping and illuminating listen and an urgent call to arms to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses by treating them as diseases rather than unfortunate states of mind.
"Jeffrey Lieberman's extraordinary account of the scientific revolution in psychiatry - a revolution that he both participated in and helped to foster- is compelling. But it is his candor, lack of dogmatism and sensitivity to suffering that will linger in your mind long after you've turned the last page." (Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind)
"Jeffrey Lieberman has produced a masterful behind-the-scenes examination of psychiatry - and, by extension, the human condition. A wise and gripping book that tackles one of the most important questions of our time: what is mental illness?" (Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon)
"An astonishing book: honest, sober, exciting, and humane. Lieberman writes with the authority of an expert, but with the humility of a doctor who has learned to treat the most profound and mysterious forms of mental illnesses... This book brings you to the very forefront of one of the most amazing medical journeys of our time." (Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies)
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Today's psychiatrist aren't like your father's
An objective history would have been helpful. As a psychiatrist I dismissed negative reviews as the usual anti-psychiatry rants . However upon reading the book I was disappointed in it being a polemic at times bordering on a rant. The straw man is Wilhelm Reich , a well known if notorious psychiatrist never studied in psychiatric training . Anyone deemed unscientific is then thrown into the Reich basket. In the modern case studies he understates the medications risks and vastly overstates outcomes especially with schizophrenia.Although I do agree its the best we have and I applaud his strong advocacy on behalf of mental health treatment . So the book is filled with truths, half truths,falsehoods,understatement,and exaggerations. This makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Its doubly disappointing that Dr. Lieberman is a past president of the APA. This reflect ongoing tensions within the field
the performance is very good. The book itself not objective.
False reassurance is not reassuring