“A history of women and the mind doctors”

madbadandsad.jpgThe British Psychological Society (BPS) Research Digest Blog has alerted me to a recent interview with novelist Lisa Appignanesi on BBC Radio 4’S program “Start the Week” where Appignanesi discusses her recent book “Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from1800 to the Present.”

“Mad, Bad and Sad” discusses the history of the relationships between female patients and their male doctors. According to a review of the book in The Telegraph:

“This sweeping, humane and formidably researched study is an entertaining account of all human sadness, badness and madness in Western Europe and North America since the late 18th century. Within this framework, Appignanesi uses her considerable skill as a novelist to tell the stories of the founding fathers of psychiatry, as well as those of the human species to whom psychiatry has devoted so much attention and brought so much oppression: women.”

Appignanesi includes the stories of women such as Mary Lamb, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Marilyn Monroe alongside those of Philippe Pinel, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and R. D. Laing. Among the author’s earlier books are “Freud’s Women,” “Simone de Beauvoir” and “Losing the Dead.”

AHP readers may also be interested in a recent article Appignanesi wrote for The Guardian on the portrayal of psychoanalysis in literature (also thanks to the BPS Research Digest for this info).

Added note: My apologies to Mind Hacks who apparently beat me to this news 2 days ago! See link.

About Jennifer Bazar

Jennifer Bazar is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. Her research focuses on the history of psychiatric institutionalization.

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