People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.

— Thomas Szasz

The most superior Thomas Szasz quotes that will add value to your life

Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.

103

The stupid neither forgive nor forget;

the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

97

If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.

88

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.

86

In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.

73

When a man says that he is Jesus or Napoleon, or that the Martians are after him, or claims something else that seems outrageous to common sense, he is labeled psychotic and locked up in a madhouse. Freedom of speech is only for normal people.

71

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.

64

Labeling a child as mentally ill is stigmatization, not diagnosis.

Giving a child a psychiatric drug is poisoning, not treatment.

54

Psychiatry is probably the single most destructive force that has affected American Society within the last fifty years.

48

Narcissist: psychoanalytic term for the person who loves himself more than his analyst; considered to be the manifestation of a dire mental disease whose successful treatment depends on the patient learning to love the analyst more and himself less.

48

The neurotic has problems; the psychotic has solutions.

47

A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.

46

About Thomas Szasz

Quotes 127 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Psychologist
Birthday April 15, 1920

Mental illness is a myth, whose function is to disguise and thus render more palatable the bitter pill of moral conflicts in human relations.

45

The FDA calls certain substances "controlled.

" But there are no "controlled substances," there are only controlled citizens.

44

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.

43

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.

42

Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind.

In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it's a cure.

37

Psychiatry does not commit human rights abuse. It is a human rights abuse.

33

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.

32

We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility

30

Psychiatric expert testimony: mendacity masquerading as medicine.

28

Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.

25

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the na?ve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

24

If, nevertheless, textbooks of pharmacology legitimately contain a chapter on drug abuse and drug addiction, then, by the same token, textbooks of gynecology and urology should contain a chapter on prostitution; textbooks of physiology, a chapter on perversion; textbooks of genetics, a chapter on the racial inferiority of Jews and Negroes.

24

In the 60s people took acid to make the world weird.

Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal. In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.

24

The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic --in short, the closest thing to a genuine panacea --known to medical science is work.

23

Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.

22

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.

20

Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.

19

I favor free trade in drugs for the same reason the Founding Fathers favored free trade in ideas: in a free society it is none of the government's business what ideas a man puts into his mind; likewise, it should be none of its business what drugs he puts into his body.

17

Sex is a body-contact sport. It is safe to watch but more fun to play.

16

If he who breaks the law is not punished, he who obeys it is cheated.

This, and this alone, is why lawbreakers ought to be punished: to authenticate as good, and to encourage as useful, law-abiding behavior. The aim of criminal law cannot be correction or deterrence; it can only be the maintenance of the legal order.

16

Autonomy... is freedom to develop one's self - to increase one's knowledge, improve one's skills, and achieve responsibility for one's conduct. And it is freedom to lead one's own life, to choose among alternative courses of action so long as no injury to others results.

15

Men often treat others worse than they treat themselves, but they rarely treat anyone better. It is the height of folly to expect consideration and decency from a person who mistreats himself.

15

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.

15

He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself.

14

The Nazis spoke of having a Jewish problem.

We now speak of having a drug-abuse problem. Actually, "Jewish problem" was the name the Germans gave to their persecution of the Jews; "drug-abuse problem" is the name we give to the persecution of people who use certain drugs.

14

Suicide is a fundamental human right.

This does not mean that it is desirable. It only means that society does not have the moral right to interfere, by force, with a persons decision to commit this act. The result is a far-reaching infantilization and dehumanization of the suicidal person.

13

If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic.

12

Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.

11

Competence in heterosexuality, or at least the appearance or pretense of such competence, is as much a public affair as a privateone. Thus, going steady is a high school diploma in heterosexuality; engagement a BA; marriage an MA; and children a Ph.D.

11

Since this is the age of science, not religion, psychiatrists are our rabbis, heroin is our pork, and the addict is the unclean person.

11

There is no psychology; there is only biography and autobiography.

11

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.

11

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.

11

Men are rewarded or punished not for what they do but for how their acts are defined. That is why men are more interested in better justifying themselves than in better behaving themselves.

11

Individual psychotherapy - that is, engaging a distressed fellow human in a disciplined conversation and human relationship - requires that the therapist have the proper temperament and philosophy of life for such work. By that I mean that the therapist must be patient, modest, and a perceptive listener, rather than a talker and advice-giver.

10

Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; love by love.

9

A teacher should have maximal authority, and minimal power.

9
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