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Articles   |    
A Critique of Thomas S. Szasz's "Myth of Mental Illness"
STEVEN REISS
Am J Psychiatry 1972;128:1081-1085.
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1972, American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Thomas Szasz's position that mental illness is a myth is found by the author to involve the following beliefs: 1) the term "mental illness" is universally defined as a biological disease state; 2) because some similarities exist between the mental health movement and the Inquisition, mental illness is as nonexistent as witchcraft; and 3) the value of alleviating suffering is more likely to be abused than is the value of promoting individual rights. Each of these beliefs is challenged. Moreover, Sasz's alternative to mental illness is found to involve concepts that are exceptionally vague.

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