Artikel: Psykiatriens historie på steroider

Er du klar til en rutsjebanetur igennem psykiatriens historie om hvordan den bevæger sig fra den ene yderlighed til den anden, skal du læse den amerikanske psykiatrihistoriker og sociolog Andrew Sculls , professor ved University of California, artikel i The Lancet. Som han beskriver, er det en sand revolution, der er sket over det seneste århundrede, fra opbevaring af psykisk syge i store asyler over freudinsk psykononsens til Big Pharmas biobabble og tvivlsomme brug af forskere.

More swiftly and silently than the Cheshire cat, psychoanalytic hegemony vanished, leaving behind not a smile, but a fractious group of Freudians and neo-Freudians who squabbled among themselves. Professors of literature and anthropology tried feverishly to fend off the notion that Freud had turned into an intellectual corpse, but cruel realities suggested otherwise. Psychoanalysts were rapidly defenestrated, chucked out of their hold over academic departments of psychiatry and replaced by laboratory-based neuroscientists and psychopharmacologists.


The US National Institute of Mental Health proclaimed the 1990s “the decade of the brain”. A simplistic biological reductionism increasingly ruled the psychiatric roost. Patients and their families learned to attribute mental illness to faulty brain biochemistry, defects of dopamine, or a shortage of seratonin. It was biobabble as deeply misleading and unscientific as the psychobabble it replaced, but as marketing copy it was priceless. Meantime, the psychiatric profession was seduced and bought off with boatloads of research funding. Where once shrinks had been the most marginal of medical men, existing in a twilight zone on the margins of professional respectability, now they were the darlings of medical school deans, the millions upon millions of their grants and indirect cost recoveries helping to finance the expansion of the medical-industrial complex.

Artiklen kan varmt anbefales!

Kilde: Scull, A. (2010). A psychiatric revolution. The Lancet, 375(9722), 1246-1247.

Hat Tips: MindHacks & Psychiatry Fun Blog.

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