Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics

Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics In , While Working At The Tavistock, John Bowlby Introduced Laing To Gregory Bateson S Double Bind Theory Of Schizophrenia Intrigued, Laing Engaged Another Glaswegian, Dr Aaron Esterson, In An Intensive Phenomenological Study Of Than Families Of Diagnosed Schizophrenics In The London Area In , Laing Travelled To Meet Bateson And His Co Workers In Palo Alto And Elsewhere Across The USA In , Laing And Esterson Published The Results Of Their Study In A Brilliant And Deeply Disturbing Book, Sanity, Madness The Family, Which John Bowlby Described As The Most Important Book About Families In The Th Century

Ronald David Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness in particular, the subjective experience of psychosis Laing s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid

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  • Paperback
  • 282 pages
  • Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics
  • R.D. Laing
  • English
  • 28 November 2017

10 thoughts on “Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics

  1. says:

    After reading them in paperback, I purchased Laing s The Divided Self, Self and Others, and Sanity, Madness and the Family in hardcover The investment seemed worth it because at the time the third book had had a great influence on my thinking.Sanity, Madness and the Family addresses schizophrenia from the perspective of social conditioning, supposedly finding from an extensive empirical survey that a study of the families of schizophrenics will reveal causes for the psychosis sufficient to discount hypothetical physical aetiologies The study, viewed in light of Laing s philosophical stance, is of dubious objectivity, but it still has value in nature nurture disputes in that it makes the nurture side of the argument plausible.

  2. says:

    Despite being written in the 1960s, the message that Laing puts across through these case studies is still as relevant today as it was at the time of writing Mental health cannot be assessed out of context Every action and trigger has a root in the environment of the patient and to separate them or neglect them completely is to me totally illogical Humans do not live in isolation but have daily interactions and experiences that shape their lives and thoughts To take mental health symptoms as purely organic is to ignore what is staring us in the face we are whether we like it or not a product of our environment The nature of our illnesses are constantly being shaped by the interpretations and determinations of others As Laing shows, if this diagnosis is taken based on the families sole decree of what is wrong then it will naturally be skewed and even purposely false I hope that Laing and his colleagues managed to affect some change in the lives of the girls discussed in this book Unfortunately the books only sets out the case studies and does not follow up with the result of their findings A fascinating read that will leave a lasting impression.

  3. says:

    This book blew my world open Yes, people become schizophrenic due to their environment Yes, people can be driven to madness by their families, when they are told their pain is their fault, or not real, and they are isolated, and are forced to accept a reality that is not true to their experience It is clear in each of these families how the individuals went crazy, and in their own way, are the sanest people in their families, and have moments of connected clarity about their family life and dynamics that the rest of the family is denying the reality of This is an important book, that when taken seriously, is perhaps the truest and most accurate account of how a person becomes crazy Please read it.

  4. says:

    I read this in college for a course in feminist philosophy taught by Maria Lugones, who now teaches at SUNY Binghamton She was the teacher who most influenced my politics and critical thinking An amazing person Reading this book enabled me to look at my family in a new way I hesitate to call what I found truth It was like the beginning of a journey out of the my family s consensus about what was true Laing s ideas are out of favor these days But this is still an important book As Lugones put it in class the day we discussed it, what we call insanity can sometimes be understood as a rational response to an irrational situation.

  5. says:

    This is a scary book It contains eleven stories, all real, of eleven young schizophrenic women and their families The point made in every story is basically the same the bizarre beliefs and strange behavior become intelligible if one considers every woman in the context of her family And those are all crazy families For example, the Edens are the father, mother, aunt, uncle and cousin So far so good But the later schizophrenic daughter grew up knowing them as in the same order uncle, mummy, mother, daddy uncle and brother Happy families are all alike every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way is very true when it comes to the families from this book.

  6. says:

    I read this because I am obsessed with the idea that pathological conditions cannot be located within an individual This book, though not without its problems, did not disappoint Highly recommended to those interested in the history of madness.

  7. says:

    Once again, this text shows just how convincing Laing s works truly are, despite me not actually being convinced by his theories This work definitely shows the connections between the patients schizophrenia and how their families construct or lead to that diagnosis and in that sense it was quite interesting I also appreciated how much respect the authors had for the patients words This work was incredibly repetitive, but I suppose that s in the nature of having a collection of case studies all set on proving the same thing It is also interesting how much of it read like a play or short story, which goes back to Freud s lament that his case studies should read like fiction An interesting text.

  8. says:

    An interesting look at how families can effect the mental state of their members, and how subtle control mechanisms can lead to reactive psychotic behaviours in vulnerable individuals Quite dated now, as society has become tolerant and better aware of the issues described in the book Having said that, it is still worth a read if you are interested in the social psychological dynamics of families.

  9. says:

    Review to come

  10. says:

    Very interesting, not least because parents in many of these case studies, to the modern sensibility, appear to have Aspergers Syndrome I realise that there is a huge debate about how much parents carers are to blame for the development of mental illness, but these case studies tied in very precisely with a situation I have personal knowledge of, and it does seem sensible to me to look at potential triggers for mental illness Certain factors reappear consistently in the studies talking over children denial that they are separate, with different likes and needs, and lack of concern when they are almost comatose probably inspired by a belief that they must be just acting There are obviously only a limited number of studies but the pattern that emerges is disturbing I also like the way he points out that we have a word for one who is disturbed but not for one who is disturbing.

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