Psychiatry and the Human Condition
Psychiatry and the Human Condition provides an optimistic
vision of a superior alternative approach to psychiatric illness and its treatment. Psychiatric signs and symptoms - such as anxiety, insomnia, malaise, fatigue - are part of life for most people, for much of the time. This is the human condition. Charlton argues that psychiatry has the potential to help. In particular, psychotropic drugs could enable more people to lead lives that are creative and fulfilled. But current classifications and treatments derive from a century-old framework which now requires replacement. Available psychotropic drugs are used crudely, and without sufficient attention to their psychological effects.
This book argues that obsolete categories of diseases and drugs should be scrapped. The new framework of understanding implies that clinical management should focus on the treatment of biologically-valid symptoms and signs, and include a much larger role for self-treatment.
The Modernization Imperative by Bruce Charlton and Peter Andras
This book argues that contemporary society in Western democracies is generally misunderstood. Commentators typically assume that we still live in a ‘pyramidal’ hierarchical state that is dominated either directly by the government, or indirectly by capitalist economics. It is assumed that social cohesion is imposed on the population by a combination of force and propaganda. Such widespread views contribute to a pessimistic attitude to the present and a fearful attitude to the future, yet neither view is correct.
The reality is that we live in a fundamentally pluralistic society divided into numerous ‘modular’ social systems each performing different functions; these include politics, public administration, the armed forces, law, economics, religion, education, health and the mass media. Because each is specialized, none of these systems are dominant and there is no overall hierarchy of power between them. Modernizing societies are therefore structured more like a mosaic than a pyramid. The Modernization Imperative explains the importance of modernisation to all societies and analyses anti-modernisation in the UK.
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