An ever growing number of people are being treated for mental illness. Some blame the modern world, yet critics warn that psychiatrists and big pharma have an interest in categorising typical, even essential, human behaviour as illness or disorder. Should we be skeptical of claims that 25% of the population suffer from mental illness? Might we do better to give up the notion that mental distress implies illness, and seek other ways to understand these states of mind? Or does this risk consigning those with serious conditions to a life of misery?
Clinical psychologist and author of Madness Explained Richard Bentall, clinical psychologist Lucy Johnstone and consultant for Public Health Wales and Swansea Professor of Medicine Ann John examine the evidence.