The work of Szasz is typical. In The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) he forcefully denounces the application of the language of illness to human thought and conduct, regarding it as mystifying processes of social control. Rather, mental illnesses (except for organic disorders) are ‘problems in living’, to be analysed in terms of social rules and role-playing. Numerous subsequent books reaffirm his message, calling for private, contractual psychiatry to replace state coercion.
In the United States and United Kingdom, acceptance of policies of community care largely predated 1960s anti-psychiatry. In Italy, anti-psychiatry was an important influence on the reforming programme that culminated in the radical legislation of 1978, which introduced community care on a national basis.
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