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Postpsychiatry: Mental Health in a Postmodern World

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 09 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1026
  1. Jack Piachaud (

You would imagine thinking about thinking to be the province of psychiatry. This, surprisingly, is not the case. There are many differing views and approaches to the mental world, but these largely reside in the discipline of philosophy. Psychiatry has been taken over by a biomedical model, leaving little space for other considerations; this book attempts to open up that space.

The path for psychiatry was largely determined by two major social processes of the 18th and 19th centuries: the development of institutions for the insane and the Enlightenment. As society became increasingly complex, institutions emerged for not only the …

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