Background: This symposium intends to provide a dispassionate account of the current ills of the discipline, seen through the lens of critical psychiatry. The four presenters are consultant psychiatrists in Australia and the UK, whom are members of the Critical Psychiatry Network, a loose association of primarily UK-based psychiatrists, some of whom have published critiques of current paradigms of understanding mental illness. Objectives: To provide an informed view of the theoretical foundations of critical psychiatry and to show how the current practice of psychiatry in the developed world is serving the purpose of interest groups aligned with neoliberal capitalism. Methods: In a series of four papers, based on an exhaustive review of literature, the authors will initially provide an understanding of the social construction of mental illness. Subsequent authors will provide a summary of the current literature in critical psychiatry, and then will attempt to deconstruct certain aspects of the current conventional understanding of schizophrenia. The final presenter will analyse the causes for diagnostic over-expansion in mental health from a critical psychiatry perspective. Findings: The opinions that the authors provide in their papers will build a cohesive argument in favour of critical thinking within the discipline of psychiatry. Conclusions: Biomedical psychiatry has failed the discipline in many respects. The time has come for psychiatrists to be proficient in sociological constructs which in some cases will help them understand their patients much better than through overstated biomedical paradigms.