This book is an introduction to the uncertainties and incongruities about madness. It is aimed at all of those who are curious about this subject whether out of general inquisitiveness or because it is part of a formal course of study.
Using case-studies of real people in order to explain, humanise, and bring to life the subject, Peter Morrall critically analyses how madness has been and is understood or perhaps misunderstood. By contrasting past and present people who have been perceived as mad and/or perceive themselves as mad, Morrall presents core ideas about madness and critiques their would-be robustness in explaining the specific madness of the person in question as well as their general relevance to madness overall.
Unlike many of its contemporaries the book does not adhere to a perspective, but rather remains skeptical about the ideas of all who profess to understand madness whether these emanate from critical psychology/realism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, critical psychology, post-structuralism/social constructionism, epistemological-phenomenology, or those adhering to the standpoints of scientific-psychiatry.
This book will inform and stimulate the thinking of the reader, and challenge those with preconceived ideas about madness.
Peter Morrall is a health sociologist with a background in mental health. His academic work focuses on madness and murder, crime and health, and critiques of psychotherapy. He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds, UK.