This book is probably not what you think it is. The title might conjure up dangerous psychotics on the loose. Or patients treated brutally by psychotic staff, gone berserk on neuroleptic drugs. Instead, the author simply finds the best in people in very difficult circumstances. He finds the humanity and decency in each of the lost souls who turn up on an LA city hospital ward. One of the most touching and haunting tales is that of the janitor on the ward.
There is a need to take a highly critical look of psychiatric--especially psychopharmocologic--treatment, and I think we have such a book in Robert Whitaker's Mad in America (2002). But there is also a need for a book like Psychward to show another side.
Edward C Green
Harvard School of Public Health