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DSM

A History of Psychiatry's Bible

Allan V. Horwitz

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The first comprehensive history of "psychiatry's bible"—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Over the past seventy years, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, has evolved from a virtually unknown and little-used pamphlet to an imposing and comprehensive compendium of mental disorder. Its nearly 300 conditions have become the touchstones for the diagnoses that patients receive, students are taught, researchers study, insurers reimburse, and drug companies promote. Although the manual is portrayed as an authoritative corpus of psychiatric…

The first comprehensive history of "psychiatry's bible"—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Over the past seventy years, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, has evolved from a virtually unknown and little-used pamphlet to an imposing and comprehensive compendium of mental disorder. Its nearly 300 conditions have become the touchstones for the diagnoses that patients receive, students are taught, researchers study, insurers reimburse, and drug companies promote. Although the manual is portrayed as an authoritative corpus of psychiatric knowledge, it is a product of intense political conflicts, dissension, and factionalism. The manual results from struggles among psychiatric researchers and clinicians, different mental health professions, and a variety of patient, familial, feminist, gay, and veterans' interest groups. The DSM is fundamentally a social document that both reflects and shapes the professional, economic, and cultural forces associated with its use.

In DSM, Allan V. Horwitz examines how the manual, known colloquially as "psychiatry's bible," has been at the center of thinking about mental health in the United States since its original publication in 1952. The first book to examine its entire history, this volume draws on both archival sources and the literature on modern psychiatry to show how the history of the DSM is more a story of the growing social importance of psychiatric diagnoses than of increasing knowledge about the nature of mental disorder. Despite attempts to replace it, Horwitz argues that the DSM persists because its diagnostic entities are closely intertwined with too many interests that benefit from them.

This comprehensive treatment should appeal to not only specialists but also anyone who is interested in how diagnoses of mental illness have evolved over the past seven decades—from unwanted and often imposed labels to resources that lead to valued mental health treatments and social services.

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Allan V. Horwitz

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Reviews

Reviews

His close look at the DSM is a meticulous blow-by-blow, tracking its evolution in the context of shifting psychiatric care, expanding disease taxonomy, growing pharmaceutical influence, emerging social movements, and a diverse array of personalities and identities (trans, queer) classified as disorders.

Horowitz tells this sorry tale with skill and panache... It is the best synthetic account of this territory anyone has produced to date.

Horwitz retains a scrupulous objectivity; but nonetheless, the tale he tells is of one of the most resounding and damaging follies of modern scientism. 

Allan Horwitz is to be congratulated on a fine book that deserves to be read by everyone concerned about the state of psychiatry.

Allan Horwitz—the recognized authority on the DSM—is both balanced and fair minded. There is nothing else like this book.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
232
ISBN
9781421440699
Illustration Description
7 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1. Diagnosing Mental Illness
Chapter 2. The DSM-I and II
Chapter 3. The Path to a Diagnostic Revolution
Chapter 4. The DSM-III
Chapter 5. The DSM-III-R and DSM-IV
Chapter 6. The DSM-5's

Preface
Chapter 1. Diagnosing Mental Illness
Chapter 2. The DSM-I and II
Chapter 3. The Path to a Diagnostic Revolution
Chapter 4. The DSM-III
Chapter 5. The DSM-III-R and DSM-IV
Chapter 6. The DSM-5's Failed Revolution
Chapter 7. The DSM as a Social Creation
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Allan V. Horwitz
Featured Contributor

Allan V. Horwitz

Allan V. Horwitz (PRINCETON, NJ) is the Board of Governors and Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University. He is the author of DSM: A History of Psychiatry's Bible, PTSD: A Short History, Anxiety: A Short History, and Creating Mental Illness.