Irving Kirsch

Mad & Madder

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry

By

Scribe 403pp £20 order from our bookshop

How would you feel two weeks after a loved one – perhaps a son or daughter or mother or father – had died? Might you still feel sad or empty most of each day? Would you have lost interest in most activities? Could the loss affect your appetite or your sleep? If so, you could be officially diagnosed as mentally ill under the criteria adopted in the newly released fifth version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – or DSM as it is commonly known. Older versions of this psychiatric bible contained a bereavement exclusion. You would not be considered to be suffering from a major depressive disorder if the depression were due to the loss of a loved one. The new version drops this exclusion. One could well argue that any parent who has recovered after the loss of a child in just two weeks is mentally ill, but DSM-5 makes you mentally ill if you have not. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,