The Myth of Mental Illness

  • Thomas Szasz


At the core of virtually all contemporary psychiatric theories and practices lies the concept of mental illness. A critical examination of this concept is therefore indispensable for understanding the ideas, institutions, and interventions of psychiatrists.


Mental Illness Human Relation Mental Symptom Human Happiness Social Intercourse 
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  1. 1.
    See Szasz, T. S.: Pain and Pleasure: A Study of Bodily Feelings (New York: Basic Books, 1957), especially pp. 70–81.Google Scholar
  2. Szasz, T. S.: “The problem of psychiatric nosology.” Amer. J. Psychiatry, 114:405–413 (Nov.), 1957.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    See Szasz, T. S.: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis: The Theory and Method of Autonomous Psychotherapy (New York: Basic Books, 1965).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    See Szasz, T. S.: Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry: An Inquiry into the Social Uses of Mental Health Practices (New York: Macmillan, 1963).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    Peters, R. S.: The Concept of Motivation (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958), especially pp. 12–15.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Hollingshead, A. B. and Redlich, F. C.: Social Class and Mental Illness (New York: Wiley, 1958).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 6.
    Quoted in Jones, E.: The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (New York: Basic Books, 1957), Vol. III, p. 247.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    In this connection, see Langer, S. K.: Philosophy in a New Key (1942) (New York: Mentor Books, 1953), especially Chaps. 5 and 10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Szasz

There are no affiliations available

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