Madness: A Very Short Introduction

Madness: A Very Short Introduction - Andrew T. Scull This should perhaps be titled “The History of Madness – A very Short Introduction” as Andrew Scull concentrates on the treatment of the mad throughout history rather than discussing in any depth what madness is. As a History it is very informative, from an excess of black bile, to asylums, psychoanalysis, and big pharma, Scull tells to the story of how they all evolved and how their rising stars have all fallen. Never less than skeptical about any of the mechanisms for helping the mentally ill, Scull leaves one with the feeling that the mad are as poorly served by society as they have ever been and that madness is as little understood as it has ever been. I found the lack of discussion on the mechanisms of madness to be a little disappointing, but found my own ideas about the competency of psychiatry as a whole to have been reinforced.