Relocating Madness: From the Mental Patient to the Person

Author(s) : Peter Barham, Author(s) : Robert Hayward

Relocating Madness: From the Mental Patient to the Person

Book Details

  • Publisher : Free Association Books
  • Published : January 1995
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Category :
    Clinical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 4430
  • ISBN 13 : 9781853433078
  • ISBN 10 : 1853433071

Also by Peter Barham

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The policy of closing mental hospitals and relocating mental patients in the community has generated great controversy. This book reports on the complexities and ironies involved here, directly from the front line. It explores how a group of people with a history of schizophrenic illness feel about themselves and their circumstances.

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Reality has dashed many hopes. Despite numerous expert proclamations, rather little is known about how the beneficiaries of the new policies perceive their good fortune. This book reports on the complexities and ironies involved here, directly from the front line. It explores how a group of people with a history of schizophrenic illness feel about themselves and their circumstances, the various factors that hinder or support them and the alternative ways in which, in effort to distance themselves from stereotypes of the "mental patient" or the "schizophrenic", they now try to lend meaning to their lives. The experiences of the group are traced across a number of themes which include stigma, housing, poverty, medication, psychiatric services in the community, and the meaning of madness. The relocation of madness is explored as a process that involves the creation and negotiation of new frames of understanding, and new styles of relationship, between former mental patients and 'normal' society.

Partly, this is a story of dismal inadequacies in service provision, of blighted lives and mordant ironies. Yet it is also a narrative of hope, of the struggles of members of a social group to recover their dignity and be permitted to join in society. The authors stress the need for open dialogue between people with mental illness and the wider society. For this new edition they contribute an epilogue in which they expand on their discussion and take account of recent alarms and developments.

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