Thomas Szasz

Thomas Stephen Szasz ( born April 15, 1920 in Budapest, Hungary) is a psychiatrist and academic. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a prominent figure in the antipsychiatry movement, a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. He is well known for his books, The Myth of Mental Illness (1960) and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement which set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated

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A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
Addiction, obesity, starvation (anorexia nervosa) are political problems, not psychiatric: each condenses and expresses a contest between the individual and some other person or persons in his environment over the control of the individual's body.
Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum.
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time serenity, that nothing is.
Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.
Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic.
If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
Men are rewarded or punished not for what they do but for how their acts are defined. That is why men are more interested in better justifying themselves than in better behaving themselves.
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage.
Psychoanalysis is an attempt to examine a person's self-justifications. Hence it can be undertaken only with the patient's cooperation and can succeed only when the patient has something to gain by abandoning or modifying his system of self-justification.
The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic --in short, the closest thing to a genuine panacea --known to medical science is work.
The many faces of intimacy: the Victorians could experience it through correspondence, but not through cohabitation; contemporary men and women can experience it through fornication, but not through friendship.
The stupid neither forgive nor forget the naive forgive and forget the wise forgive but do not forget.
The stupid neither forgive or forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
The system isn't stupid, but the people in it are.
Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.
We often speak of love when we really should be speaking of the drive to dominate or to master, so as to confirm ourselves as active agents, in control of our own destinies and worthy of respect from others.
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.

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