Book Review: ‘Evidence-biased Antidepressant Prescription’ by Michael P. Hengartner

This book review by Marion Brown has been published by BJGP Life (which publishes comment and opinion on research and clinical care for the primary care community): “Hengartner begins ‘Over my academic career, I went into different stages of belief and disbelief.’…
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The Book of Woe: the DSM and the unmaking of psychiatry

This book comes from Gary Greenberg. The publishers say: “Since its debut in 1952, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has set down the “official” view on what constitutes mental illness. Homosexuality, for instance, was a mental illness…
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Studying Mental Health Problems as Systems, Not Syndromes

This article by Eiko I. Fried has been published in Sage Journals. The abstract says: “Despite decades of clinical, sociopolitical, and research efforts, progress in understanding and treating mental health problems remains disappointing. I discuss two barriers that have contributed to…
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Are you mentally ill, or very unhappy? Psychiatrists can’t agree

This article by Sophie McBain has been published in The New Statesman. It begins: “One afternoon in December 2004, Samantha* left her house in northern England and walked to the nearby river. She tried not to think about her five young…
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Book of Lamentations

“DSM-5 arranges its various strains of madness solely in terms of the behaviors exhibited. This is a recurring theme in the novel, while any consideration of the mind itself is entirely absent. In its place we’re given diagnoses such as ‘frotteurism,’…
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They Say You’re Crazy: How The World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who’s Normal

This book by Paula Caplan, published in 1996, looks at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In 2013 the most recent DSM edition (DSM-5) was produced, expanding even further – to well over 600 – the number of…
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Psychological Formulation as an Alternative to Psychiatric Diagnosis

“… we might be in the very strange position of admitting, as one psychiatrist has pointed out, that psychiatry is ‘something very hard to justify or defend—a medical specialty that does not treat medical illnesses’ …”Dr. Peter Breggin, 1993, p….
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The Future of Mental Health: Deconstructing the Mental Disorder Paradigm

This book has been written by psychotherapist Dr. Eric Maisel. The publishers say: “The Future of Mental Health drills to the heart of the current mental health crisis, where hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide receive unwarranted ‘mental disorder diagnoses.’ It paints…
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Why is neurodiversity classified as a mental illness?

Neurodiversity refers to the different ways that the mind can work and interpret information. Some people naturally think about things differently. We all have different interests and motivations, and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others. Most…
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Allen Frances: Overdiagnosis

“Dr. Frances feels two-thirds of patients diagnosed are being treated unnecessarily.” The makers of the film CrazyWise conducted an interview with psychiatrist Dr. Allen Frances. Dr. Frances is best known for his role as the chair of the group that produced the…
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