Burstow goes a step further than other critics:of psychiatry and calls for nothing less than the abolition of psychiatry as it is currently practiced.
A world without psychiatry - this idea raises questions: How do we want to live and interact? What does normal mean?
Canadian activist and scholar Bonnie Burstow has been exploring these questions. For her, anti-psychiatry stands in the larger context of an anti-capitalist, a better world. With Burstow, we embark on a journey, into the past, through the present, to a future: to a world without psychiatry.
Telling the story of psychiatry in an anti-psychiatric way shows how much state domination and capitalism have been linked to the supposed care of the supposedly insane. This connection also occurs in the processes that lead to the production and administration of psychiatric drugs. The problems with the widespread use of psychotropic drugs are discussed as well as their modes of action explained. Burstow concludes by opening a view of a world without psychiatry based on everyday interactions in a transformed society.
The unique methodology of institutional ethnography offers a more comprehensive critique of psychiatry. This is the rigorously researched but accessible book that scholars and activists have been waiting for. A valuable contribution to the discussion of the failures of mental health systems.
Bonnie Burstow was a professor at the University of Toronto in Canada, philosopher, feminist therapist, and activist in the anti-psychiatry movement. Other works include "Radical Feminist Therapy: Working in the Context of Violence," "The Other Mrs. Smith," "The Revolt against Psychiatry: A Counterhegemonic Dialogue".
The DAMNMAD Collective is a group of people who work as editors, translators, artists and activists. Involved in the translation and editing of "Psychiatrie überwinden" were: Clara Funk, Florian Henz, Iva Ona, Charlotte Pankalla, Kim Wichera and Rosa Zorn.