Psychiatry and the Human Condition provides an optimistic vision of a superior alternative approach to psychiatric illness and its treatment, drawing upon modern neuroscience and evolutionary theory. Psychiatric signs and symptoms - such as anxiety, insomnia, malaise, fatigue - are part of life for most people, for much of the time. This is the human condition. But psychiatry has the potential to help. In particular, psychotropic drugs could enable more people to lead lives that are more creative and fulfilled. Current classifications and treatments derive from a century-old framework which now requires replacement. Available psychotropic drugs are typically being used crudely, and without sufficient attention to their psychological effects.
We can do better. This book argues that obsolete categories of diseases and drugs should be scrapped. The new framework of understanding implies that clinical management should focus on the treatment of biologically-valid symptoms and signs, and include a much larger role for self-treatment.
Psychiatry and the Human Condition is a referenced work of medical science by an experienced researcher, but written in a clear and vivid style so as to be accessible to a general audience. Since its publication the book has divided opinion very sharply - attracting both strong praise and vitriolic criticism in roughly equal proportions.