In our post today, Welldoing brings you a video from the Institute of Arts and Ideas.

In this video, President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association Dinesh Bhugra debates the nature of mental illness with psychiatrist David Healy and clinical psychologist Richard Bentall. While we commonly think that psychiatric diagnoses like depression and bipolar disorder are real, many now argue that they have little basis in reality.

Should we abandon psychiatry and its classifications? Would this usher in a new era of effective health care or cause widespread harm?

Bentall argues that our categories of mental illness don’t have any solid basis. Bhugra somewhat agrees, suggesting that although diagnoses are useful and important for classifying groups of symptoms, psychiatry has turned into a tick-box exercise that doesn’t address the actual problems.

Healy, however, has a different opinion, arguing that mental illnesses are real, and that the problem doesn’t lie with psychiatry as such, but with the powerful influence of the pharmaceutical industry.

Follow this link to watch the video: iAi Madness Incorporated. 

This event took place at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in May 2014 – see more videos at