Top positive review
Mental illness is not real but let’s pretend it is:DSM 5
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2018
“Mental illness is not real, but let’s pretend it is” : DSM5
You might think the title or my review is an exaggeration or misstatement of the raison d’etre for any DSM but in fact one of the tenets of this volume, the DSM 5, as well as Book of Woe, is that in fact mental illnesses are artificial and artificially constructed categories that have no reality. Psychiatrists are counseled, within the manual’s pages, against the “reification” of mental disease, that is, turning what is a concept into a real thing, even as the entire DSM purports to describe “reality” in terms like “schizophrenia” and “bipolar disorder” as well as other “oppositional defiant disorder” and other questionable maladies of modern living.
Book of Woe is a history of the development of DSM 5 but it is also a fundamentally a critique of Psychiatry, even as the author, a psychologist, confesses he benefits financially from using the very manual he (mostly) disparages.
Well-written and even entertaining, this book is a must read and an eye opener for anyone who has ever trusted their psychiatrist to know what she or he is doing when making a diagnosis.