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Drapetomania was a mental illness that, in 1851, American physician Samuel A. Cartwright hypothesized as the cause of black slaves fleeing captivity.
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- In the nineteenth century, ... official Western medicine recognized drapetomania, the tendency of slaves to run away from their owners, as a disease. ... With hindsight, drapetomania is easily dismissed as a harmful fabrication of fictitious disease, in a culture violating human rights. Less easy is it to recognize harmful fabrications of our own era for what they are.
- Are you sure that medicine and psychiatry are on the right track, morally and scientifically, in providing millions of person with drugs after having diagnosed them as depressed?
- Wim J. van der Steen, Vincent K. Y. Ho, Ferry J. Karmelk, Beyond Boundaries of Biomedicine: Pragmatic Perspectives on Health and Disease (2003), p. 29
- What had been drapetomania became depression. ... Modern man runs away from a life that seems to him a kind of slavery.
- Thomas Szasz, "The Sane Slave: Social Control and Legal Psychiatry," American Criminal Law Review, vol. 10 (1971), p. 346