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Ottobre 2021 - I ed. 2013
184 pp.
EAN 9788833021430
Mental Health Factory
The Journal of a Reluctant Psychiatrist

"If the mental hospital was similar to a concentration camp, today SPDCs resemble factories. The head psychiatrist is the plant manager and has an assembly line to oversee. The psychiatrist is a technician who works at this human assembly line, and the patient is a biological machine that needs to be fixed not using words in a human relationship, but by means of drugs". Thirty five years ago the Italian parliament passed the law n. 180. Inspired by the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia, it was supposed to sanction the end of traditional mental institutions and of the barbaric therapeutic practices that took place in them. Piero Cipriano, our reluctant psychiatrist, works in a SPDC (Servizio Psichiatrico di Diagnosi e Cura), the sort of facility that was established by the new law. His journal has the evocative language of a literary work, and the informative content of a non-fiction book.
Through his pitiless gaze we learn that the very facilities that were devised to ensure a humane treatment of psychiatric crises have ended up in reproducing the same flaws of the previous institutions. Drawing from a series of case-studies, Cipriano describes the arbitrary and bureaucratic procedures that still shape the relationship between mental health professionals and their mentally ill subjects. Such procedures, in turn, generate the paradoxical effect whereby the real dangerous individuals are those who are supposed to ensure a humane treatment of mental illness.

Piero Cipriano (1968) is a doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychotherapist, and an ethnopsychiatric. After workingin various mental health departments from Friuli to Campania, in the last few years he is working in Rome in a SPDC health centre.
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