The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease

Protest Psychosis:  The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease
Jonathan Metzl, author of The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease, interviewed in Psychology Today:

By the mid- to late-1960s, however, schizophrenia was a diagnosis disproportionately applied to the hospital’s growing population of African American men from urban Detroit. Perhaps the most shocking evidence I uncovered was that hospital charts “diagnosed” these men in part because of their symptoms, but also because of their connections to the civil rights movement. Many of the men were sent to Ionia after convictions for crimes that ranged from armed robbery to participation in civil-rights protests, to property destruction during periods of civil unrest, such as the Detroit riots of 1968. Charts stressed how hallucinations and delusions rendered these men as threats not only to other patients, but also to clinicians, ward attendants, and to society itself. You’d see comments like Paranoid against his doctors and the police. Or, Would be a danger to society were he not in an institution.

Psychology Today: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease

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