Madness: A History is a thorough and accessible account of madness from antiquity to modern times, offering a large-scale yet nuanced picture of mental illness and its varieties in western civilization.

The book opens by considering perceptions and experiences of madness starting in Biblical times, Ancient history and Hippocratic medicine to the Age of Enlightenment, before moving on to developments from the late 18th century to the late 20th century and the Cold War era. Petteri Pietikäinen looks at issues such as 18th century asylums, the rise of psychiatry, the history of diagnoses, the experiences of mental health patients, the emergence of neuroses, the impact of eugenics, the development of different treatments, and the late 20th century emergence of anti-psychiatry and the modern malaise of the worried well. The book examines the history of madness at the different levels of micro-, meso- and macro: the social and cultural forces shaping the medical and lay perspectives on madness, the invention and development of diagnoses as well as the theories and treatment methods by physicians, and the patient experiences inside and outside of the mental institution.

Drawing extensively from primary records written by psychiatrists and accounts by mental health patients themselves, it also gives readers a thorough grounding in the secondary literature addressing the history of madness. An essential read for all students of the history of mental illness, medicine and society more broadly.

chapter 1|11 pages

Introduction to Madness and its History

part I|61 pages

Madness from Antiquity to the Age of the Enlightenment

chapter 2|23 pages

Madness in Ancient and Medieval Times

chapter 4|17 pages

From the Devil's Temptation to Wrong Thinking

Madness in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

part II|107 pages

The great transformation: medicalization of madness in the long nineteenth century

chapter 5|29 pages

The Age of the Asylum

chapter 6|28 pages

The Medical Management of Madness

chapter 7|24 pages

Living and Dying in Asylumland

chapter 8|24 pages

Naming the Mad Mind

part III|83 pages

Naming and managing madness in the Golden Age of Asylums

chapter 9|26 pages

Mental Maladies in the Twentieth Century

chapter 11|14 pages

War and Madness

chapter 12|24 pages

Shocks and Surgeries

Somatic treatments of the twentieth century

part IV|66 pages

Madness in the Cold War era and beyond

chapter 14|25 pages

The Psychopharmacological Revolution

chapter 15|21 pages

Madness between Sanity and Normality