What is the BizOMadness Blog?

This blog is devoted to raising critical awareness of psychiatry generally. It is likewise devoted to the antipsychiatry research projects, publications, and related activities of Dr. Bonnie Burstow. Especially foregrounded are The Psychiatry Project, The Madness Project, and "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness". Related to one another, The Psychiatry Project and The Madness Project involve hundreds of interviews, a dozen focus groups, analysis of several hundred documents and their activation, and dedicated periods of institutional observation. The culmination of both as well as of decades of related interviews and activities is "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness" (timely updates on its publication will be provided)--a cutting edge book in which psychiatry is investigated from multiple angles and which begins to tackle the inevitable question: So if we get rid of psychiatry, where do we go from there?

For the Events page to find events related to this research or this book, see

To check out reviews of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness and related publications, see http://bizomadnessreviews.blogspot.ca/

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Book is Out, The Wait Over: Psychiatry and the Business of Madness Has Been Published!

The date given for the publication of this book (the anticipated date) was April 1, 2015. The countdown was almost unbearable.  March 29, March 30, March 31; finally April 1 came --and still no book in my hands--nothing had arrived from the publisher!  So I did what every person does who realizes or at least suspects that this is the best work that ever s/he is likely to pen (for in all honesty, it is).  I took a deep breath, then queried the publisher.  No answer that day.  Why?, I wondered. Had something unexpected happened?  Finally the next day, the answer to the puzzle came--an unfortunate glitch had happened, though my author's copies of the book were now on their way to me.

Now it is common practice to wait until you have a copy of your book in your hot little hands before declaring a book published.  So not wanting to "jump the gun",  again I wait.  Next day, still nothing. 

Then came the first sign. An email arrived from one of the people who would be speaking at the London book launch--Cheryl Prax--informing us that her copy of the book had arrived. Halleluiah! 

Could I now declare it published?  Maybe I should wait. After all,  because just because someone in London has it (London being home to Palgrave Macmillan's largest headquarters, people in London might well get it first), that does not mean that it is readily available elsewhere.  I sighed, then let the issue go and trundled off to a CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault) meeting. 

Shortly after the meeting commenced, a member called Oriel entered the room. What is it that she was holding?  Could it be?  Yes, it was.  There in her hands was a copy of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness: An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting

She sat down, open the booked, began thumbing through it.  She had clearly gone over it with a highlighter, for passage after passage in page after after page had been highlighted in yellow!  An indication that it had not just arrived.

Given the mounting evidence, by the powers vested in me as author, I hereby declare the book Psychiatry and the Business of Madness published! 

The chapter breakdown is: 

1. Introduction to the Study: Unveiling the Problematic
2. The Evolution of "Madness": A Journey "through Time"
3. Modernity (1890-2014): A Journey through Time, Part Two
4. Probing the Boss Text: The DSM
What? Whither? How? Which? 
5. The Beast/In the Belly of the Beast: Pinioned by Paper
6. The Psychiatric Team
7. Marching to "Pharmageddon": Psychopharmacy Unmasked
8. Electroshock
Not a Healing Option
9. Dusting Ourselves Off and Starting Anew

Comments about the book to date are:

"This is a powerfully unsettling book. Burstow expresses outrage about, and level-headed analysis of, the oppressive and alienating practices of psychiatry and holds out hope for emancipation that builds on everyday interactions in a transformed society. It's an outstanding contribution to critical thinking about mental health, and to ethics, law, and social changea no-holds barred, take-no-prisoners radical history and deconstruction of all modern mental health practices and an ambitious, inspiring 'eutopian' proposal for their reinvention."
- David Cohen, Professor and Marjorie Crump Chair in Social Welfare, University of California, Los Angeles, US 

About the book
Psychiatry and the Business of Madness deconstructs psychiatric discourse and practice, exposes the self-interest at the core of the psychiatric/psychopharmacological enterprise, and demonstrates that psychiatry is epistemologically and ethically irredeemable. Burstow's medical and historical research and in-depth interviews demonstrate that the paradigm is untenable, that psychiatry is pseudo-medicine, that the "treatments" do not "correct" disorders but cause them. Burstow fundamentally challenges our right to incarcerate or otherwise subdue those we find distressing. She invites the reader to rethink how society addresses these problems, and gives concrete suggestions for societal transformation, with "services" grounded in the community. A compelling piece of scholarship, impeccable in its logic, unwavering in its moral commitment, and revolutionary in its implications.

That said, let me encourage people to pick it up, read it. My guess and my promise is that it will hold your interest. And whether you like it (very possible), hate it (also possible), or are uncertain (possible as well), let us all know what you think. And do consider posting a comment on Amazon or Indigo-on-line, letting the world at large know your impression. 

Note, despite the limitations of the medium, there is a democratization of opinion-giving happening with the Internet, and good that we all avail ourselves of it.


  1. Where is the link to order, please?

  2. http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=psychiatry%20and%20the%20business

  3. try this one http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/psychiatry-and-the-business-of/9781137503848-item.html?ikwid=psychiatry+and+the&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0