A Delightful Exposé of Ancient and Modern  Psychiatry

Professor of the Classics Michael Fontaine PhD was so interesting and inspiring two weeks ago talking about ancient pandemics that I asked him back to talk about two other amazing historical events:  One is recent, from the 1970s: the famous Rosenhan study, called On Being Sane in Insane Places.   Like many critics of conventional psychiatry, I was enamored with it.  Rosenhan sent normal volunteers into emergency rooms, instructing them to act entirely normal except to say they were hearing a voice saying “Thud.”  They were all locked up and given psychiatric drugs, and only other patients suspected they were not real patients.  Or so David Rosenhan’s “scientific” tour de[PB1]  force supposedly unfolded. It turns out he conned us, not the psychiatrists.  It’s an incredible story.  Michael follows up with yet another amazing story, very old:  A Roman play based on an even more ancient Greek play that offers a spoof on psychiatry and probably the first ever portrayal of abusive involuntary treatment.   Great stuff from a great and amusing scholar.


The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour
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