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Making Us Crazy


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The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was first published in 1952 but has become increasingly important‘and controversial‘in the past few decades, as managed health care plans have pressured psychiatrists for more "scientific" diagnoses. Kutchins (social work, California State Univ., Sacramento) and Kirk (social welfare, UCLA) counter arguments that DSM is a nonpolitical compendium by examining the processes of advocacy and protest that led to the exclusion of homosexuality, the inclusion of posttraumatic stress disorder, controversies over the use of the Borderline Personality diagnosis, and the history of racial discrimination in the assignment of diagnostic categories. Their admirable book belongs in academic libraries. Smaller public libraries are better served by less specialized titles that make many of the same points, such as E. Fuller Torrey's Out of the Shadows: Confronting America's Mental Illness Crisis (LJ 2/1/97).‘Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.

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