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Our Necessary Shadow In what will be a tour de force in the field of psychiatry in all its complexity and depth this important new volume explores the essential paradox of psychiatry—and offers a balanced understanding of its history and development in the medical world Much is written about psychiatry but very little that describes psychiatry itself Why should there be such a need For good or ill psychiatry is a polemical battleground criticized on the one hand as an instrument of social control while on the other the latest developments in neuroscience are trumpeted as lasting solutions to mental illnessWhich of these strikingly contrasting positions should we believe This is the first attempt in a generation to explain the whole subject of psychiatry in this deeply thoughtful descriptive and sympathetic book Tom Burns reviews the historical development of psychiatry throughout alert to where psychiatry helps and where it is imperfect What is clear is that mental illnesses are intimately tied to what makes us human in the first place and the drive to relieve the suffering they cause is even humanPsychiatry for all its flaws currently represents our best attempt to discharge this most human of impulses it is not something we can just ignore it is our necessary shadow


10 thoughts on “Our Necessary Shadow

  1. says:

    A comprehensive yet concise and balanced summary of psychiatricpsychological history and development that highlights both the triumphs and pitfalls of the science


  2. says:

    A wonderful concise balanced and well written synthesis of the History and the Dilemmas of Psychiatry As a Medical Student in the process of choosing a specialty this book really strengthened the idea of a career in Psychiatry


  3. says:

    A great book with powerful insights into life as a psychiatrist in the modern world Tom states a very valid point about the state of psychiatry in the western world informs the reader of its prominent rise into the sciences and its controversial history He also describes what to expect if you are reading this book hoping to find some guidance when seeking


  4. says:

    Interesting A good overview of the field


  5. says:

    Excellent and highly readable


  6. says:

    One of the books that made me want to study medicine


  7. says:

    275 stars I became bored in the middle of this book and so skimmed a lot of that The end was interesting to me as was the beginning The title about says it all as far as the author's premiseuotes I likedpage 217 If we accept that people's personalities are the result of neglect or early abuse how fair is it to hold them responsible for their actions? Should a co


  8. says:

    I read this book as a counter weight to Richard Bentall's 'Doctoring the Mind' which Burns references several times himself as a counterpoint I must admit even though Burns' observations about the necessary limitations of psychiatric theory given the age of the discipline did somewhat mitigate the effect of Bentall's excoriating critiue I still thought that Bentall


  9. says:

    cool title ok book Sort of a once over lightly of historical and contemporary issues for the field Didn't seem to do any original scholarship I agreed with most of his opinions so in that sense it was an easy enough journey through the chapters but if you're familiar with mental health care at all I'm not sure how much new you would learnECT scares people but has its


  10. says:

    I loved every page of this fascinating case for Psychiatry from the sweeping history of Anton Mesmer's hypnotic shows through the foreboding city size asylums of Long Island and right through to fMRI neuroscience Charcot Janet Freud and Jung get irresistable mini bios The author doesn't hold back on a worts 'n all exposure of the science and its relation to psychology


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