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Bricks and mortar humanity; 4. Mental hygiene; 5. A bottomless pit; 6. Emotional welfare. ProQuest Firm. Bibliography Illustrated. Summary "This is the story of one of the most far-reaching human endeavors in history: the quest for mental well-being. Drawing on years of field research, Ian Dowbiggin argues that if the quest for emotional well-being has reached a crisis point in the twenty-first century, it is because mass society is enveloped by cultures of therapism and consumerism, which increasingly advocate bureaucratic and managerial approaches to health and welfare" Back to results Back to item.

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The Quest for Mental Health: A Tale of Science, Medicine, Scandal, Sorrow, and Mass Society

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The Quest for Mental Health : A Tale of Science, Medicine, Scandal, Sorrow, and Mass Society

Northumbria University Library. Open University Library. University of Oxford Libraries. Queen Margaret University Library. Queen Mary University of London Library. University of Reading Library. Yet at the dawn of the new millennium, reported rates of depression and anxiety are unprecedentedly high. Drawing on years of field research, Ian Dowbiggin argues that if the quest for emotional well-being has reached a crisis point in the twenty-first century, it is because mass society is enveloped by cultures of therapism and consumerism, which increasingly advocate bureaucratic and managerial approaches to health and welfare.

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Over time, stake-holders such as governments, educators, drug companies, the media, the insurance industry, the courts, the helping professions, and a public whose taste for treatment seems insatiable have transformed the campaign to achieve mental health into a movement that has come to mean all things to virtually all people. As Dowbiggin shows, unless systemic changes take place, the quest for mental health is likely to make populations more miserable before they become happier. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.

The Quest for Mental Health : Ian Dowbiggin :

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Concise yet comprehensive history of Mental Health as seen primarily by governments and public institutions throughout history. View 1 comment. One of the paradoxes of seeking "mental health" as defined , somewhat like seeking happiness, is that it can be like entering a thicket of ideas, beliefs and practices, dubious and otherwise. Ian Dowbiggin's approach is to trace the idea of mental illness and how it was treated; the rise of asylums,psychiatry and medical approaches to the current pharmacological view.

That might sound a little glib, but this book varies throughout in the depth of its content, and associated contentions. It's si One of the paradoxes of seeking "mental health" as defined , somewhat like seeking happiness, is that it can be like entering a thicket of ideas, beliefs and practices, dubious and otherwise. It's significant that it's described as "A Tale", not "The Tale. Here, Jung is mentioned once, in passing, reflecting the different nature of what is essentially a story about American psychiatry, with snippets from a Europe without Jung, only partly with Freud, although the cover presents a photo of a patient on a couch, with the psychiatrists sitting apart and behind, after the Freudian style.

One of the themes is the role of families and communities of centuries past in managing those with mental difficulties, overtaken by a growing interest of the state in the mental health of its citizens, with the establishment of asylums, with a subtext of the perennial argument as to whether people with these difficulties should be incarcerated or be part of society.

Another theme is the often dubious methods employed by medical men as it essentially was , particularly those calling themselves psychiatrists, and this theme overlaps with both a desire for respectability by these people and a consequent emphasis on a scientifically oriented diagnosis, and the use of drugs amongst other methods. A brief history of the rise of the DSM is also provided. I found this part of the book a little sketchy, possibly because I've read a bit in this area over the years about the rise of the use of drugs to deal with all sorts of diagnosed pathologies, much of which reads like a marketing exercise to sell product.

Perhaps the vagueness comes from Dowbiggin's essentially unstated perspective of what seems to be the "therapism" of Frank Furedi, one of the people providing a comment on the back of the book and what seem to be a particular kind of libertarianism, as the role of the state doesn't seem to be a particularly thrilling development for him.


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I would have liked more on this, as not debating this important issue left a hole in his descriptions.