This fascinating history of mind doctors and their patients probes
the ways in which madness, badness, and sadness have been
understood over the last two centuries. Lisa Appignanesi charts a
story from the days when the mad were considered possessed to our
own century when the official psychiatric manual lists some 350
mental disorders. Women play a key role here, both as patients
among them Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Marilyn Monroe and as
therapists. Controversially, Appignanesi argues that women have
significantly changed the nature of mind-doctoring, but in the
process they have also inadvertently highlighted new patterns of
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