• Tales from the Madhouse: An insider critique of psychiatric services

Tales from the Madhouse: An insider critique of psychiatric services

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ISBN 9781906254759
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Tales from the Madhouse by Gary Sidley provides critiques of psychiatric practice  that are powerfully backed up by moving, and at times disturbing, stories taken from his long years of practice as a mental health professional. Sidley strongly suggests that current psychiatric practices are based on pseudo-scientific assumptions that are barely more valid than those of witchcraft and demonic possession in bygone centuries.

Sidley's many years of experience has enabled him to creation of a distinctive insider account of the shameful failings of the Western psychiatric system. He goes on to suggest how we might go about improving the mental health of the nation.

Click on the extract tab below to read a sample chapter

Hear Gary's keynote 'I used to be a CBT enthusiast' from the Critical Voices Network Conference in Cork, November 2015 here

Foreword by Professor Tony Morrison

1. The Psychiatric Asylum
Part I: The doctors assume control of the mentally disordered
Part II: Routine and conformity

2. An Illness Like Any Other
Part I: Where it all went wrong
Part II: The pernicious assumption of underlying deficits

3. Witches of the Twenty-First Century
Part I: The stigma of being a psychiatric patient
Part II: Discrimination in action

4. The Witch-Finder Generals
Part I: Psychiatry and the misuse of power
Part II: Who is in charge here?

5. Let the Doctors and Nurses Treat You
Part I: Passivity and submissiveness
Part II: The debilitated must take it easy and follow instructions

6. Risk Distortion and Risk Aversion
Part I: Bureaucracy and defensive practice
Part II: Action plans, policies and sharp edges

7. There is No Hope for the Brain-Diseased
Part I: Pessimism and low expectation
Part II: We shouldn’t expect too much

8. An Unholy Alliance
Part I: Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry
Part II: Currying favour

9. A Basic Lack of Compassion
Part I: Coldness and spite
Part II: If I don’t think you’re mad, you must be bad

10. How Can We Improve the Mental Health of the Population?

Read a sample chapter from Tales From The Madhouse here

Hear Gary's keynote 'I used to be a CBT enthusiast' from the Critical Voices Network Conference in Cork, November 2015 here

Read 5* Amazon reviews here

Through Gary's sensitively written anecdotes, psychiatry's "treatments" are exposed as the disempowering, hope-destroying tactics that they are … I strongly recommend this book.  Please read it and tell others about it. Phil Hickey, psychologist and blogger, for Mad in America.

Gary Sidley has written a passionate and gripping critique of mental health services in the UK, informed by his long experience as a psychiatric nurse and then, later, as a clinical psychologist practicing in the NHS. Although he supports his case with clearly reviewed research, it is the accompanying stories of his experiences with vulnerable patients mistreated by the system which are particularly compelling. Sidley vividly describes how power operates within psychiatric teams to the detriment of those who are utterly powerless. Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, UK.

Powerful, engaging and very readable, Gary Sidley's disturbing critique of mental health services in the UK is comprehensive and compelling. Drawing on many years of professional experience he shares stories about patients who have been mistreated in the most insidious ways. This wide-ranging insider account provides a damning exposure of all that is wrong with psychiatric services and demonstrates how the most powerless amongst us are abused and disempowered by a system which has its roots in untruths and fails on every level. I have no hesitation in recommending this book as essential reading for mental health students, mental health professionals and the general reader. An excellent book. Judith Haire

...this book clearly summarises the problems with the dominant medical model paradigm within mental lealth services and illustrates them with telling anecdotal examples. The case Sidley makes for the need for a paradigm shift is exceptionally strong and he capably introduces the nature of this shif and some of the conditions required to bring it about. He specifies that the book is aimed at mental health professionals, service users and general readers concerned by the way our society responds to human suffering. I have no hesitation in recommending it to them..... Jeremy Spandler.

'Overall, it’s a very compelling read... worthy of a place on any mental health professional’s shelf.' Philip Malone, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist with the Offender Personality Disorder Service in Leeds, UK

Gary Sidley

Gary Sidley worked within NHS mental health services for 33 years in a variety of nursing, psychological and managerial roles. In the 1980s he was employed as a psychiatric nurse in a large asylum in Manchester. He left nursing in 1987 to pursue clinical psychology training and subsequently worked as a clinical psychologist in a range of settings, including community mental health centres, inpatient units and GP practices. Gary opted for early retirement in 2013 and is currently a freelance writer and trainer with an interest in promoting alternatives to bio-medical psychiatry.

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Gary Sidley