In Brain Evangelists, renowned psychiatrist Gordon Warme, MD, blows the whistle on modern psychiatry. In irresistible, darkly amusing prose, he argues that, in the long history of medicine, biological and chemical "abnormalities" in psychiatric patients have never been identified. He insists that labels such as schizophrenia and depression are misleading metaphors that dehumanize patients and authorize psychiatrists to do the unthinkable: remove patients' civil rights, hospitalize without warrant, and administer powerful drugs against patients' wills.
Provocatively, Warme does not hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for psychiatry's bad habits. Instead, he says, we should point the finger at the people prescribing the drugs--psychiatrists. Weaving his powerful argument with riveting anecdotes; cultural phenomena; and luminous references to ancient myths, literature, and art, Warme calls for a brand new psychiatry--one that rejects pseudo-science and outdated ideologies. Rather than concentrating on superficial advice and quick fixes, psychiatry should, he says, concentrate on patients' darker inclinations. Above all, this remarkable book celebrates the complexity of the human psyche and self-knowledge as recovery--despite grim life continuing as always.
Gordon Warme, MD, is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He has been an academic at the University of Toronto for 40 years.
Born and educated in Toronto, he trained with Karl Menninger at the Menninger Clinic in the U.S. and at the Universität Heidelberg in Germany. He has been a faculty member at the Menninger Clinic, the University of Kansas, and the University of Toronto.
During his career, Dr. Warme has been the director of many programs: Kansas Treatment Center for Children; Children's Division of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry; Psychotherapy Centre at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. He has held a Dozor visiting professorship at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He is a past president of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society, founder and past director of the Toronto Child Psychoanalytic Program, and for a number of years was senior research associate in the department of English at Trinity College, University of Toronto.
Dr. Warme has written four books: Reluctant Treasures (New York: Jason Aronson, 1994); The Psychotherapist (New York: Jason Aronson, 1996); The Cure of Folly (Toronto: ECW Press, 2003); and Daggers of the Mind: Psychiatry and the Myth of Mental Disease (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2006).
Praise for previous books by Dr. Gordon Warme:
"Gordon Warme is a deeply interesting writer, a paradoxical, liminal character all too rare in our culture. Endlessly curious and humanely skeptical, as any good clinician ought to be, his wisdom is disturbing, yet seductive."
--The Globe and Mail
"Stating unequivocally that there is no such thing as mental disease is a pretty ballsy thing for a psychiatrist to do. When said psychiatrist is also a prominent professor at the University of Toronto's medical school ... such a statement could be professional suicide. But Dr. Gordon Warme, the doctor in question, has been espousing this opinion for years, and has published three books to back his assertions up."
--Quill & Quire