By Linda Gask
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Additional info for A Short Introduction to Psychiatry (Short Introductions to the Therapy Professions)
The second biological revolution At the end of the twentieth century the position of psychiatry seems remarkably similar to that one hundred years earlier, with new promise of the answers to the causes and treatments of mental illness from biological research led by researchers such as Steve Hyman, Nancy Andreasen and Dennis Charney in the USA and Eve Johnstone, Tim Crow, David Nutt, Peter McGuffin and Bill Deakin in the UK. The last twenty years have seen enormous advances. The revolution in molecular biology has once again made psychiatric genetics fashionable, with progress being achieved for disorders where a single gene is involved such as Huntington’s disease.
1971) compared the diagnostic habits of psychiatrists in their two countries by showing videotapes of patients to audiences of American and British psychiatrists in turn. qxd 5/21/04 2:34 PM Page 29 HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF A PROFESSION 29 and that there was no systematic approach to diagnosis across the world of psychiatry. This was followed by controversy in the US over the disease status of homosexuality (which was classified as a disease in the American official manual of diagnosis in mental health, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) II), and finally by the famous Rosenhan study.
But change was already afoot. Policy was following the developing trends away from hospital admission as much as it was leading it (Jones 1993). And changing social attitudes towards psychiatry and mental illness would also play a part. Anti-psychiatry A number of different writers from a variety of disciplines attacked psychiatry with considerable force during the 1960s (Tantam 1991). D. 12 His The Divided Self (Laing 1960) became a bestseller. In it he put forward for the first time his arguments for the development of ‘madness’ as a reaction to living in intolerable circumstances, often seen by him as present in the person’s own family.