Just finished The Book of Woe by Gary Greenberg about the DSM (diagnostic statistical manual – for psychiatric disorders) and want to document some things. Mainly for me, so don’t feel like you have to read this if you’re not particularly interested in psychology.
P. 57 downward comparison:
Midtown Manhattan Study interviewed 1911 people and found, using the DSM, that 85% had a mental illness. This is rather high prevalence.
“The Midtown Manhattan Study is a talking point for most defenders of the DSM. They cite that 85% number as evidence that even if the DSM is an imperfect document, and even if it catches an improbable number of people in its diagnostic net, at least it’s better than what we had in the bad old day. We in the mental health business call this a downward comparison, and we sometimes recommend one to our patients to help them put their problems in perspective. ‘Yes it’s true your wife left you for your next-door neighbour,’ you might say, ‘but at least your kids won’t have to commute as far as most children of divorce.’ It’s usually a pretty lame intervention, […] because you’re actually bolstering the patitent’s self-esteem by pointing out that he’s better off than the next guy.”
p. 70 deracinated: “…not only because the DSM’s labels seemed so insufficient, its criteria so deracinated, the whole procedure so banal…”
p. 72 “Maybe Michael First’s claim that psychiatry is somehow the victim of the selfsame diagnostic manual that pulled its chestnuts out of the fire sounds disingenuous to you, too.”
= Hazardous undertaking for someone else’s benefit / rescue someone from a difficulty.]
p.106: “This was Frances’s biggest complaint: that the DSM-5 leaders seemed heedless of the way that the new revision threatened to put psychiatry even more into the business of ‘manufacturing mental disorders’ and that those lowered thresholds and new diagnoses and revamped criteria would touch off diagnostic epidemics. ‘The result would be a wholesale imperial medicalisation of normality,’ he wrote, ‘a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry but at a huge cost to the new patients caught in the excessively wide DSM-V net.'”
p. 142 exculpate (their rapist client) = clear of charge
p. 144 Panza. Wikipedia: Sancho Panza is a fictional character in the novel Don Quixote written by Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Sancho acts as squire to Don Quixote, and provides comments throughout the novel, known as sanchismos, that are a combination of broad humour, ironic Spanish proverbs, and earthy wit. “Panza” in Spanish means “belly”.
It’s just occurred to me that I could be doing this in Evernote then it wouldn’t need to be a post that no one else is interested in. Oh well, started so I’ll finish.
p. 166-67 sentence length ‘you haven’t signed on…’ ‘Good for you’
p. 237: Caplan and DDPD
p. 241 psychiatry before psychiatrists
p. 242 Melville The Confidence Man
p. 257 sentence length ‘it’s who she is’
p. 268-72 personality disorders 10 down to 5 from DSM-IV to 5
p. —- parallax
p. 280 Walter Miller A Canticle for Leibowitz
p. 330 Freud death instinct
p. 335 medicine vs psychiatry
p. 336 melancholia
p. 339 & 341 NIMH RDOC
p. 347 Freud’s warning