A Mad World
Is modern life bad for your mental health?
The University of Sheffield’s Professor Richard Bentall recently participated in a debate hosted by The Institute of Art on what courses of action would best enable us to understand and treat individuals struggling with their mental health. Debating with Richard were Swansea University Medical School Professor Ann John and clinical psychologist Lucy Johnstone
An ever growing number of people are being treated for mental illness. Some blame the modern world, yet critics warn that psychiatrists and big pharma have an interest in describing normal, even essential, human behaviour as an illness or disorder. Should we be sceptical of claims that 25% of the population suffer from mental illness each year? Might we do better to give up the notion that mental distress implies illness, and seek other ways to understand these states of mind? Or does this risk consigning those with serious conditions to a life of misery?