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Smug about suffering

To dismiss the benefits of psychiatry is arrogant, ignorant and dangerous

Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good by James Davies (Icon, £10.99)

Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry by Tom Burns (Allen Lane, £20)

Our understanding of the brain is primitive at best, and our treatments for mental illnesses are appalling. They are not very effective, cost a lot and carry innumerable side effects. That said, recent progress in understanding the brain and treating mental illness is dazzling. It’s a bit like space exploration: we know a lot more than before we managed to blast off, but our increased knowledge has underscored how much there…

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