Current psychiatric practices are based on pseudo-scientific assumptions that are barely more valid than those of witchcraft and demonic possession that dominated society’s approach to madness in bygone centuries. The author’s 33 years of experience working as a mental health professional – psychiatric nurse, clinical psychologist and manager – has enabled the creation of a distinctive insider account of the shameful failings of the Western psychiatric system. Not only is the evidence for psychiatry’s deficiencies comprehensively reviewed, but disturbing anecdotes are shared to illustrate how these failings are currently playing out within a psychiatric service near you.
“A clear-headed and compelling critique of Psychiatry”
Five Star Review on Amazon By sinope
In the preface to Tales from the Madhouse, Gary Sidley describes his book as ‘a damning critique of the system’. Damning indeed, but certainly not through diatribe or bitter polemic – this is a thoughtful, deep and persuasive critique of how and why psychiatric services have failed time and time again on so many levels. Gary Sidley blends powerful examples from his life’s work with wide ranging references from academic research to bring to light the failings of the established psychiatric system.
The author’s clear-headed and warm writing style makes Tales from the Madhouse a compelling read. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Mental Health services – patients, staff, journalists and academics – but especially psychiatrists.The author expresses optimism that change is a-foot in the way society addresses human suffering, and that transformation of Mental Health services away from biological psychiatry is possible. Maybe so, but such a revolution will need Psychiatry fully on side – that’s a big ask.
About the Author
Gary Sidley worked within NHS mental health services for 33 years in a variety of nursing, psychological and managerial roles. In the 1980s he was employed as a psychiatric nurse in a large asylum in Manchester. He left nursing in 1987 to pursue clinical psychology training and subsequently worked as a clinical psychologist in a range of settings, including community mental health centres, inpatient units and GP practices. Gary opted for early retirement in 2013 and is currently a freelance writer and trainer with an interest in promoting alternatives to bio-medical psychiatry.