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What counts as evidence? 

What counts as evidence?
Chapter:
What counts as evidence?
Source:
Postpsychiatry: Mental health in a postmodern world
Author(s):

Patrick Bracken

and Philip Thomas

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198526094.003.0004

This book would not exist were it not for the courage of the growing number of mental health service users and survivors who have written about their experiences. In the last 10 years or so, this has evolved into a recognizable body of personal testimony and narrative. This includes what is now known as ‘user-led research’. In Chapter 2, we examine some of this literature. We discover a remarkable diversity of experiences and views. Yes, there are attitudes that some might regard as ‘anti-psychiatry’, but there are also people who write in positive terms about their experiences of diagnosis and treatment within psychiatry. The majority of the views expressed fall somewhere in between these two extremes. People recognize that psychiatry has brought some benefits into their lives but there are personal costs to be borne. In addition, many people describe a deep sense of ambivalence about the significations and meanings attached to psychiatry, and particularly psychiatric medication. In this chapter, we are trying to re-establish contact with the voices that are customarily excluded from debates about madness.

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