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Pure Madness: How Fear Drives the Mental Health System

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7380.109 (Published 11 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:109
  1. Nigel Lester, consultant psychiatrist (nigel@dr.com)
  1. London

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    Jeremy Laurance

    Routledge, £9.99, pp 224

    ISBN 0 415 36980 0

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    In a world in which every other media personality speaks like a psychologist, you could be forgiven for believing that the science of the mind can not only explain behaviour, but also predict it, control it, and change it. What a surprise, then, to find that the professionals are running scared.

    There are a few psychological terms that you might not have picked up from the talking heads on reality TV. These include projection (when something goes wrong we look for someone else to blame); rationalisation (when things are not right we come up with a new system); intellectualisation (we think we can …

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