Thomas Szasz

Thomas Szasz

American psychiatrist

Lived from: 1920-

Category: Psychology

Quotes: Thomas Szasz

Quotes 1 till 15 of 33.

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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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Although we may not know it, we have, in our day, witnessed the birth of the Therapeutic State. This is perhaps the major implication of psychiatry as an institution of social control.

    Source: Toward the Therapeutic State

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    Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
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    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.
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    Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.
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    Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly often attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
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    He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself.
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    If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic.
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    In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
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    In the past, men created witches; now they create mental patients.
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    Involuntary mental hospitalization is like slavery. Refining the standards for commitment is like prettifying the slave plantations. The problem is not how to improve commitment, but how to abolish it.
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    It is easier to do one's duty to others than to one's self. If you do your duty to others, you are considered reliable. If you do your duty to yourself, you are considered selfish.
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