Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University
School of Continuing Studies - Division of Liberal Arts
Homewood Campus
Second Summer Session 1993
466.474 (.01) - MENTAL ILLNESS
Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30 - 8:45pm
Ames 219
Faculty: Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office hours by appointment:
Telephone (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
E-mail address:
Administrative Office: 203 Shaffer Hall/Telephone: (410) 516-7191

Course Description

Historical and contemporary perspectives on mental illness, the value and limitations of these conceptualizations, treatment approaches based on biological explanations, and psychiatric opposition to these methods, are explored in detail throughout the course. Students learn about the following categories of mental illness and disorder, their assessment/diagnosis and treatment, during the first half of the semester: Anxiety-based, personality, and mood disorders, and the schizophrenias. Opposition to biochemical theories of the "new psychiatry" are examined in detail during the second half. Students are encouraged to develop and express their own point of view on controversial topics. Lecture and discussion format.

Course Objectives

  1. To familiarize students with current theoretical terms and concepts used to study mental illness, the methods used to research these concepts, and the applications of the concepts in the clinical setting.
  2. To understand perspectives on mental illness critical of predominant points of view.
  3. To become aware of the difficulties involved in defining and treating "mental illness."
  4. To develop confidence in formulating and expressing personal opinions regarding psychiatric perspectives on mental illness and its treatment.

Course Requirements and Grades
Paper						20%
Mid-term examination (essay)			40%
Final examination (essay)			40%
			                Total = 100%

Required Texts
Carson, R.C. & Butcher, J.N. (1992). Abnormal psychology and modern life (Ninth Edition). New York: HarperCollins.
Breggin, P. (1990). Brain damage, dementia and persistent cognitive dysfunction associated with neuroleptic drugs: Evidence, etiology, implications. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 425-464.
Cohen, D. & McCubbin, M. (1990). The political economy of tardive dyskinesia: Asymmetries in power and responsibility. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 465-488.
Frank, L.R. (1990) Electroshock: Death, brain damage, memory loss, and brainwashing. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 489-512.
Coleman, L. (1990). False accusations of sexual abuse: Psychiatry's latest reign of error. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 545- 556.
Ofshe, R. & Watters, E. (1993). Making monsters. Society, March/April, 4-16.

Opinion paper

Submit a five to eight-page, typed, double-spaced paper describing your own philosophy of mental illness and its treatment based on the material we have studied in class. The paper is due on August 24.

Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades. Material discussed in class, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the examinations. Students are responsible for anything covered in class during their absence. Readings must be completed by the session to which they are assigned. Additional readings may be assigned during the course. Final grades are calculated on a numerical basis.

Class  Schedule

Date			Topic					Reading

July 20		Defining "mental illness,"			Lecture
		historical perspectives on			Carson & Butcher
		mental illness, DSM-III-R			Chapters 1 & 2
July 22		Anxiety-based disorders				Carson & Butcher
		and personality disorders			Chapters 6 & 8
July 27		Mood disorders and suicide			Carson & Butcher
								Chapter 11
July 29		The schizophrenias				Carson & Butcher
		and delusional disorders			Chapter 12
August 3	Clinical assessment and				Carson & Butcher
 		biologically-based therapies			Chapter 16 & 17
August 5	Review
August 10	Mid-term examination			
August 12	Organic Mental Disorders			Carson & Butcher
								Chapter 13 
		Tardive dyskinesia and neuroleptics		Breggin article
August 17	Political economy of TD				Cohen et al.
		Electroshock					Frank
August 19	False accusations of sexual abuse		Coleman
		Making monsters					Ofshe and Watters
August 24	Contemporary issues				Carson & Butcher
		Review and papers due				Chapter 19
August 26	Final examination