They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal

by Paula J. Caplan (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Self-Defeating Personality Disorder, Nicotine Dependence, Hypoactive Sexual
Desire Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder-these are some of the 400
"mental illnesses" described in the American Psychiatric Association's
diagnostic bible, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Caplan (The Myth of Women's Masochism), a psychologist and former consultant to
the DSM, compellingly argues that "much of what is labeled 'mental illness'
would more appropriately be called problems in living." In a disturbing
insider's look at how the mental health establishment decides who is normal and
who is "sick," she charges that the DSM board's decision-making process,
dominated by a handful of conservative white male psychiatrists, is arbitrary,
condescending, profit-driven and riddled with personal biases and political
consideration. Facile labeling of personality problems, she shows, can cause
personal suffering as well as material harm because DSM categories figure
prominently in who wins child custody, who gets hospitalized against their will
and whose psychotherapy is covered by insurance.

From Booklist
Psychologist Caplan shows how the American Psychiatric Association's bible, the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, lacks the scientific
basis claimed for it. Drawing on her years as an adviser-consultant to various
related APA committees, she brings to light the association's lack of interest
in outsiders' views and the sloppy design and execution of the research it
accepts as authoritative. Caplan cites two diagnostic entities, self-defeating
personality disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, not only to
demonstrate the association's narrow-mindedness and sloppy scientific manners
but also to underline the dangers of labeling individuals or groups with such
designations. The APA is aided, wittingly or not, by news media reliance on
association news releases and the association's biased use of language, and the
problems caused thereby affect women in particular, for APA material is also
used for political and social purposes. William Beatty --This text refers to an
out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

Paperback: 382 pages
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company (March 3, 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0201488329



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