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on 25 November 2000
Attention all mental health practitioners! Do you strive to be "evidence based" in all that you do? Do you accept only scientific studies as constituting "evidence" on topics of diagnosis and treatment?
Most importantly, do you choose to refer to the DSM-IV (or earlier editions) to make definitive, scientific diagnoses?
Well, read this book to have your blinkers removed! The authors (a professor of social work and a professor of social care) argue persuasively that a large number of the identified behavioural disorders are defined because of political, social and economic reasons, sometimes with no scientific backing at all - sometimes even in direct contradiction to scientific evidence available.
This book however is no "anti-psychiatry" rant. Instead, the authors acknowledge the "reality" of mental illness, and the pain and suffering that it causes to many people and their families.
What they do object to is the increasing "medicalisation" of behaviours which never before have been considered "disorders" and which stigmatises the individual AND significantly alters peoples' rights in areas such as the courts and employment.
Don't unthinkingly refer to the DSM in the assumption that it is a valid, scientific resource...read this book and have your assumptions about mental disorders challenged.
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on 5 December 2000
This was on my wish list and some kind soul bought it for me. This was a book I couldn't put down. Some of the articles are disturbing as some things we take for granted about mental illness appear to have been made up by social and environmental stigma. SPOOKY!!!!
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on 27 April 2014
interesting read but I found some of the 'arguments' overly critical and 'clutching at straws', albeit the book as a whole is quite interesting and really makes you think twice about the DSM and it's use.
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on 26 September 2013
never trust a book on which the name of the person who wrote the foreword features in larger letters than the person who actually wrote the book.
if even the front cover is trying to con you, the rest aint gonna be much good.
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