The Difference Between A Disease and a Disorder

Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus50 Years Ago Dr. Thomas Szasz Rocked The World of Psychiatry: The Difference Between A Disease and a Disorder

By Dr. Jeffrey Schaler
Assistant Professor of Justice, Law & Society

It is fifty years now since Thomas Szasz rocked the world of psychiatry by writing The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct. His work continues to have a profound impact on how we think about disease, behavior, liberty, justice, responsibility, and most important of all, what it means to be human. Szasz has shown us how the idea of mental illness is used by the state to deprive innocent people of freedom, and guilty persons of justice. Without the state involved, the medicalization of behavior means nothing.

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