Andrew Scull: Psychiatry’s Turbulent Quest to Cure Mental Illness


Andrew Scull

Andrew Scull is an award-winning author, sociologist, historian of psychiatry, and distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies. He received his B.A. from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from Princeton. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton before going to the University of California San Diego. His books include Museums of Madness, Decarceration, Madhouses, Mad-Doctors, and Madmen, Social Order/Mental Disorder, The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, and many more. His latest book, Desperate Remedies tells the story of psychiatry in the United States from the 19th-century asylum to 21st-century psychopharmacology.

Andrew's articles have appeared in leading journals in a variety of disciplines, including the British Journal of Psychiatry, Psychological Review; European Journal of Sociology; and Medical History. Andrew's received an Academic Senate Distinguished Teacher Award and an Academic Senate Research Lecturer award. In 2015, he received the Roy Porter Medal for lifetime contributions to the history of medicine, and in 2016 he received the Eric T. Carlson award for lifetime contributions to the history of psychiatry.

We talk about…

  • The different beliefs surrounding the origins of mental illness
  • The desperate remedies psychiatry has used to cure mental illness
  • What happened to mental health patients when asylums closed
  • The impact the psychopharmacological revolution had on mental health
  • The role drug companies played in perpetuating the chemical imbalance theory
  • What Andrew thinks the future of psychiatry will look like
  • Why it’s easy to be seduced by the idea that there is an effective remedy to mental health struggles

More from Andrew Scull…

Buy his book, Desperate Remedies

Andrew mentioned the movie The Snake Pit

If you love this episode, you'll also love Episode 72: David Cohen: Rethinking Mental Health


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