The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

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  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness
  • Susannah Cahalan
  • English
  • 20 June 2018
  • 1538715287

About the Author: Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan is the New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire My Month of Madness, a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain She writes for the New York Post Her work has also been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American Magazine, Glamour, Psychology Today, and others.


The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of MadnessFrom one of America s most courageous young journalists NPR comes a propulsive narrative history investigating the 50 year old mystery behind a dramatic experiment that changed the course of modern medicine For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people sane, normal, well adjusted members of society went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry s labels Forced to remain inside until they d proven themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even troubling stories of their treatment Rosenhan s watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever But, as Cahalan s explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today Free Read The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness [ author ] Susannah Cahalan [ Kindle ePUB or eBook ] – scottishhomebakingawards.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

  1. Susannah says:

    A writer friend always rates her own books She explained that if she doesn t love her own book enough to give it five stars, how can she expect anyone else to do the same I like this mentality so here I go

  2. Julie Ehlers says:

    Back in the early 1970s, Dr David Rosenhan published the results of a study wherein he and several other people so called pseudopatients , none of whom had ever had mental health issues, attempted to get admitted to psychiatric hospitals by showing up and claiming they heard a voice in their head saying empty, hollow, and thud All of them got admitted on this basis, most of them receiving a preliminary diagnosis of schizophrenia Once admitted, they behaved like their normal selves, b Back in the early 1970s, Dr David Rosenhan published the results of a study wherein he and several other people so called pseudopatients , none of whom had ever had mental health issues, attempted to get admitted to psychiatric hospitals by showing up and claiming they heard a voice in their head saying empty, hollow, and thud All of them got admitted on this basis, most of them receiving a preliminary diagnosis of schizophrenia Once admitted, they behaved like their normal selves, but no one seemed to notice they were actually not mentally ill The resulting article, On Being Sane in Insane Places, purported to show that 1 diagnosis of mental health issues was unreliable at best and 2 patients in psychiatric hospitals were in fact not treated in ways that might act...

  3. Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader says:

    Have read Susannah Cahalan s deeply personal memoir, Brain on Fire She has followed up that best selling book with The Great Pretender, which exposes the suspenseful mystery behind an experiment that shaped modern medicine and mental health as we know it today David Rosenhan and his brave colleagues entered asylums undercover in order to come out diagnosed out the yin yang, but better able to expose the atrocities and systemic problems in mental health treatment at the time On top of that, Ca Have read Susannah Cahalan s deeply personal memoir, Brain on Fire She has followed up that best selling book with The Great Pretender, which exposes t...

  4. Book of the Month says:

    Why I love itby Maris KreizmanSusannah Cahalan was not okay Over the course of a month she went from being a fully functioning young reporter to suffering from psychosis and hallucinations, a step away from being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder In her devastating 2012 memoir, Brain On Fire, Cahalan details how a neurological disease not only caused her body to attack her brain, but also caused her to question her own sanity.Susannah is fully recovered now, but Why I love itby Maris KreizmanSusannah Cahalan was not okay Over the course of a month she went from being a fully functioning young reporter to suffering from psychosis and hallucinations, a step away from being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder In her devastating 2012 memoir, Brain On Fire, Cahalan details how a neurological disease not only caused her body to attack her brain, but also caused her to question her own sanity.Susannah is fully recovered now, but what would have happened to her if her diagnosis of mental illness had stuck This is what she grapples with in The Great Pretender, an engrossing history of the study of mental illness, centered around an experiment in which a psychiatrist and a group of other healthy people get themselves committed to mental hospitals in the early 1970s There they experience the dehumanizing, traumatizing nature of the institutions themselves, and ultimately discover firsthand how mental illness diagnoses are biased and arbitrary at best.How do we...

  5. Nenia ⚜️ Author of Filthy Trash and Unhinged Psychos ⚜️ Campbell says:

    Instagram Twitter FacebookPinterestI was so excited to read this book because I loved her first book, BRAIN ON FIRE, which was her own journalism style memoir chronicling her experience with autoimmune encephalitis that manifested itself with symptoms similar to schizophrenia Had she been misdiagnosed, she could have ended up with permanent brain damage or dead Given that close call, it s understandable that the author might have some skepticism about psychology A lot of people do, and like a lot of sciences Instagram Twitter FacebookPin...

  6. Janelle | She Reads with Cats says:

    Fascinating Review to come.

  7. Sharon says:

    I found this a very interesting read, this study led to some major shifts in how mental illness was thought about, diagnosed and treated and so it s important that the study be real and accurate This is a well written and w...

  8. Judy Lesley says:

    Susannah Cahalan and her family didn t want to accept her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder even though her symptoms easily fit Instead they continued to search for what was happening to her, what was causing the symptoms she was living with Finally she was diagnosed with the medical condition of autoimmune encephalitis, received treatment and recovered Coming that close to such a huge...

  9. Peter Tillman says:

    Nature s review Author Cahalan quotes a former colleague of Rosenhan s, who notes that he was a good networker, an excellent lecturer and a generally charismatic character But some people in the department called him a bullshitter, Kenneth Gergen says And through her deeply researched study, Cahalan seems inclined to agree with them She discovered that the man whom she had initially admired, and who had done so much to change how mental illness was perceived, was not al...

  10. Annie says:

    The Great Pretender, by Susannah Cahalan, is one of the most extraordinary, best written works of nonfiction I think I ve ever read I have so much to say about it that I m honestly not sure where to begin This book takes on our existential fear of mental illness, our cultural dread of asylums, and the possibly unsolvable problem of where mental illnesses come from and how to cure them Cahalan uses all her skills as a journalist to dig deep into a contentious scholarly and societal argument about the th The Great Pretender, by Sus...