Are You Really Insane?

1544 Words Dec 16th, 2016 7 Pages
Are you really insane?
Would you choose a psychiatric hospital or hard labor? For Randle Patrick McMurphy, in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, the choice was obvious: an Oregon psychiatric hospital. McMurphy had managed to fake insanity to bypass a sentence of prison for time in the Nurse Ratched’s psych ward. His facade raised the questions on the authenticness of mental illness, challenging how a psychiatrist must trust his/her patient. David Rosenhan demonstrates the possibility of incorrect diagnoses in his Rosenhan experiment. However, while beneficial in that the experiment exposed faults in the psychiatric diagnostic process, it proved mental illness could be faked adding the growing stigma mental diseases’ have.
The ability to fool psychiatric diagnostic tests is quite simple as seen with David Rosenhan’s experiment. Rosenhan’s experiment begins with his doubts about humans ability to tell “normal from the abnormal” (Rosenhan). This lead to Rosenhan setting up eight “sane” people as “pseudopatients” who acted to have psychotic episodes at twelve different psychiatric hospitals (Thirunavukarasu). These psychotic episodes consisted of hearing voices and noises. The eight patients fabricated the lie making these auditory hallucinations, considered signs of schizophrenia, more authentic by connecting the lie to personal memories and situations in their life (Rosenhan). Each pseudopatient gained admittance into a psychiatric hospital; seven receiving a diagnosis of…

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