Product detail

Making Sense of Madness


The experience of madness - which might also be referred to more formally as 'schizophrenia' or 'psychosis' - consists of a complex, confusing and often distressing collection of experiences, such as hearing voices or developing unusual, seemingly unfounded beliefs. Madness, in its various forms and guises, seems to be a ubiquitous feature of being human, yet our ability to make sense of madness, and our knowledge of how to help those who are so troubled, is limited. "Making Sense of Madness" explores the subjective experiences of madness. Using clients' stories and verbatim descriptions, it argues that the experience of 'madness' is an integral part of what it is to be human, and that greater focus on subjective experiences can contribute to professional understandings and ways of helping those who might be troubled by these experiences. Areas of discussion include: how people who experience psychosis make sense if it themselves scientific/professional understandings of 'madness', and what the public thinks about 'schizophrenia'. "Making Sense of Madness" will be essential reading for all mental health professionals as well as being of great interest to people who experience psychosis and their families and friends.


"Jim Geekie and John Read have written a fascinating book about what psychiatrists call 'schizophrenia'. They address the usually ignored issue of how people who experience hallucinations and delusions make sense of those experiences themselves. They also tackle why it is that experts continue to disagree about what 'schizophrenia' is and, indeed, whether it exists at all. This is a 'must read' for all mental health professionals and everyone else interested in madness."- Professor Paul J Fink, Past President American Psychiatric Association, Temple University School of Medicine. "One can only hope that every new trainee in mental health will first read this book before exposing him - or herself to the confusing amount of theories and categorizations that have become accepted as "knowledge" of madness. Developing an attitude of continuously contesting and questioning accepted knowledge will help close the current gap between subjective experience and professional reductionism". - Prof. dr J. van Os, Dept. Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Author description

Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand University of Auckland, New Zealand

Table of contents

Introduction. The Subjective Experience of Madness. Making Sense of Madness I: Subjective Experience. Making Sense of Madness II: Lay Understandings. What Does the Public Think About 'Schizophrenia'? Making Sense of Madness III: Scientific/Professional Understandings of 'Madness'. Bringing It All Together. What 'Schizophrenia' Really Is. Where to From Here?

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9780415461962
  • : Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • : Routledge
  • : May 2009
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2010
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 616.898
  • : 208
  • : 8 black & white illustrations, 1 black & white tables
  • : Jim Geekie