New Books In Psychoanalysis

Roy Richard Grinker, "Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness" (Norton, 2021)



Stigma about mental illness makes life doubly hard for people suffering from mental or emotional distress. In addition to dealing with their conditions, they must also contend with social shame and secrecy. But by examining how mental illness is conceived of and treated in other cultures, we can improve our own perspectives in the Western world. In his new book, Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness (Norton, 2021), anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker offers a critique of our current mental health system based on cross-cultural observations as well as suggestions for improving upon it. In our interview, we talk about the impact of stigma on mental health treatment and his ideas about where it comes from. He also explains why he feels optimistic about recent trends in the way individuals speak about their mental health challenges. Roy Richard Grinker is professor of anthropology and international affairs at George Washington University. His specialties include ethnicity, nationalism,