|Publisher:||Penguin Group USA|
|Publish Date:||May 2013|
|Number of Pages:||403|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.4|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.3 x 1.5 x 9.1|
With the forthcoming fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), psychotherapist Greenberg (The Noble Lie) releases a timely critique of the process for the manual's rewriting. Drawing mainly on personal correspondence with key players working on the revision, he passionately argues that decisions regarding which categories of "illness" and their criteria for diagnosis are changed, dropped from, or added to the manual are not based on sound scientific research.
Thus, he argues the primary purpose of the DSM-5 is to provide an economic foundation for the psychiatric profession as well as for pharmaceutical and health-insurance companies. He emphasizes proposed changes in the discussions of Asperger's syndrome, bereavement-related depression, bipolar disorder in children, and personality disorders.
Verdict: Greenberg's documentation of the DSM-5 revision process is an essential read for practicing and in-training psychotherapists and psychiatrists and is an important contribution to the history of psychiatry. Those more casually interested in the topic, however, may be satisfied with his Wired article "Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness", which inspired the book.
-Katherine G. Akers, Emory Univ. Libs.
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Since its debut in 1952, the book has been frequently revised, and with each revision, the official” view on which psychological problems constitute mental illness. Homosexuality, for instance, was a mental illness until 1973, and Asperger’s gained recognition in 1994 only to see its status challenged nearly twenty years later. Each revision has created controversy, but the DSM-5, the newest iteration, has shaken psychiatry to its foundations. The APA has taken fire from patients, mental health practitioners, and former members for extending the reach of psychiatry into daily life by encouraging doctors to diagnose more illnesses and prescribe more therapiesoften medications whose efficacy is unknown and whose side effects are severe. Criticsincluding Greenbergargue that the APA should not have the naming rights to psychological pain or to the hundreds of millions of dollars the organization earns, especially when even the DSM’s staunchest defenders acknowledge that the disorders listed in the book are not real illnesses.
Greenberg’s account of the history behind the DSM, which has grown from pamphlet-sized to encyclopedic since it was first published, and his behind-the-scenes reporting of the deeply flawed process by which the DSM-5 has been revised, is both riveting and disturbing. Anyone who has received a diagnosis of mental disorder, filed a claim with an insurer, or just wondered whether daily troubles qualify as true illness should know how the DSM turns suffering into a commodity, and the APA into its own biggest beneficiary. Invaluable and informative, The Book of Woe is bound to spark intense debate among expert and casual readers alike.
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