The Mind Has Mountains by Paul R. McHugh
Psychiatry has long been the sick man of medicine—a science without a laboratory, a discipline without a method, a field without boundaries. In an area of medicine like cardiology or dermatology, such confusion would present a danger primarily to those who suffered from heart disease or eczema. But in a therapeutic culture like our own, psychiatry’s maladies infect everyone. Whether through the lingering fog of Freudianism or the invention of fashionable but medically dubious diagnoses, the psychiatrist disseminates ideas that are eagerly seized upon by a population lacking a rich alternative for describing inner life.
Throughout much of his career, Paul McHugh has called upon psychiatry to heal itself. In his former post as director of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, and in his many essays and reviews, he has appealed to his peers to examine their methods and presumptions and to shun the sort of overreaching that has produced library shelves groaning with volumes of junk psychiatry.
About the Author
Kay S. Hymowitz, a contributing editor of City Journal, writes frequently for COMMENTARY on social and cultural issues.