Shyness: How Normal Behaviour Became a Sickness

The publishers of this book (by Christopher Lane, published 2009) say:

“In the 1970s, a small group of leading psychiatrists met behind closed doors and literally rewrote the book on their profession. Revising and greatly expanding ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM for short), they turned what had been a thin, spiral-bound handbook into a hefty tome. Almost overnight the number of diagnoses exploded.

The result was a windfall for the pharmaceutical industry and a massive conflict of interest for psychiatry at large.

This spellbinding book is the first behind-the-scenes account of what really happened and why. With unprecedented access to the American Psychiatric Association archives and previously classified memos from drug company executives, Christopher Lane unearths the disturbing truth: with little scientific justification and sometimes hilariously improbable rationales, hundreds of conditions, among them shyness, are now defined as psychiatric disorders and considered treatable with drugs … ”

You can read more here.

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