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MOVING BEYOND PROZAC, DSM, AND THE NEW PSYCHIATRY: THE BIRTH OF POSTPSYCHIATRY
Julie M AultmanThe New England Journal of MedicineBoston: Nov 23, 2006.Vol.355, Iss. 21;  pg. 2264, 2 pgs
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Author(s): Julie M Aultman
Document types: Book Review-Favorable
Publication title: The New England Journal of Medicine. Boston: Nov 23, 2006. Vol. 355, Iss. 21;  pg. 2264, 2 pgs
Source type: Periodical
ISSN: 00284793
ProQuest document ID: 1173786741
Text Word Count 543
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1173786741&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=64285&RQT=309&VName=PQD

Abstract (Document Summary)

In a thorough and interesting discussion of how to link cultural studies to psychiatric medicine, Lewis calls for a new genre of intellectual thought - "cultural studies of psychiatry" - in which scholars from multiple disciplines examine psychiatric inquiry ;ind practice, exposing the various types of knowledge and practice that mainstream psychiatry fails to acknowledge. By analyzing the ethical, political, social, and cultural problems associated with current psychiatric classification, diagnostic methods, and treatment practices, and by showing how such problems can be addressed, if not resolved, by postpsychiatry, these chapters speak directly to all practicing psychiatrists and consumers of psychotropic medications.

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Copyright Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Division Nov 23, 2006

MOVING BEYOND PROZAC, DSM, AND THE NEW PSYCHIATRY: THE BIRTH OF POSTPSYCHIATRY (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability.) By Bradley Lewis. 198 pp. Ann Arbor. University of Michigan Press, 2006. 570 (cloth); $24.95 (paper). ISBN 0-472-11464-6 (cloth); 0-472-03117-1 (paper).

IT IS NOT VERY OFTEN THAT WE FIND A SINgle voice with the ability to bridge clinical experience and scholarly investigation and, in doing so, find clarity and a vision that speaks to a broad audience. Bradley Lewis is that voice, coming to us as an advocate, provider, and consumer of psychiatric medicine as well as a scholar ot philosophical and sociocultural thought. In Moving beyond Promt, DSM, and the New Psychiatry, Lewis critically examines how psychiatric classification, diagnostic methods, and treatment practices tall short of identifying with and caring for the human condition. Other scholars have revealed the limitations of the Diagnostic and Sramfioil Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the idealistic drive toward reductionism within psychiatric inquiry and practice. Lewis not only validates these criticisms and arguments but also presents an alternative vision of psychiatry. The purpose of this novel vision, or what he calls postpsychiatry, is to provide a means of discourse through which clinicians, patients, researchers, and academics can share interdisciplinary, multidimensional knowledge. To achieve this vision, Lewis uses resources from poststructuralism, postmodernism, and cultural studies, all of which illustrate the need for postpsychiatry and provide the scaffolding for putting it into practice.

Early chapters of Lewis's book familiarize readers with the limitations of contemporary psychiatry and show how the humanities and social theory can shape psychiatry as the helping profession that it should be in contrast to the biologically dominated, politically driven profession that it is. Chapter 5, "Postdisciplinary Coalitions and Alignments," in which the model of postpsychiatry surfaces fully, shows the strength of Lewis's theoretical work. In this chapter, he maintains that the current, Hawed institutional structure of psychiatry resists scholarship outside the basic sciences. For this reason, he argues, cultural studies would best serve as a scholarly model for postpsychiatry. In a thorough and interesting discussion of how to link cultural studies to psychiatric medicine, Lewis calls for a new genre of intellectual thought - "cultural studies of psychiatry" - in which scholars from multiple disciplines examine psychiatric inquiry ;ind practice, exposing the various types of knowledge and practice that mainstream psychiatry fails to acknowledge.

In subsequent chapters, Lewis applies cultural studies of psychiatry to two phenomena: the development and implementation of the DSM and an analysis of the popular prescription drug Prozac (fluoxetine). By analyzing the ethical, political, social, and cultural problems associated with current psychiatric classification, diagnostic methods, and treatment practices, and by showing how such problems can be addressed, if not resolved, by postpsychiatry, these chapters speak directly to all practicing psychiatrists and consumers of psychotropic medications. In chapter 8, "Postempiricism: Imagining a Successor Science for Psychiatry," Lewis shows how postpsychiatry, in its ideal form, can be especially influential in a clinical setting in which human values take precedent over the sciences and in which self-ordained "experts" see themselves, in Lewis's words, as "servicepeople." In the end, it is up to these people to foster the growth and development of Lewis's vision.

[Author Affiliation]
Julie M. Aultman, Ph.D.
Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
Rootstown, OH 44272
julieaultman@xahoo.com


 More Like This - Find similar documents
Author(s): Julie M Aultman
Document types: Book Review-Favorable
Language: English
Publication title: The New England Journal of Medicine
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