It was the introduction of chlorpromazine in the 1950s which did more to "abolish madness" than de-medicalising schizophrenia. Scans of the working brain now consistently show the physical basis of hallucinations in people who suffer from schizophrenia.
In his book Sanity, Madness and the Family Laing suggested that a woman's psychotic symptoms were "the outcome of her ... interaction with her parents", falsely condemning a generation of parents to the belief that they were responsible for their children's schizophrenia. Community care has many problems, but let us not go back 40 years in the hope that a charismatic but misguided psychotherapist had the solutions.
Dr PETER WHITE
St Bartholomew's Hospital
London EC1Reuse content