What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5

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Title: What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5: Historical Mental Disorders Today
Published by: Routledge
Release Date: March 4, 2015
Pages: 202
ISBN13: 978-1138830899


What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5: Historical Mental Disorders Today covers the diagnoses that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) failed to include, along with diagnoses that should not have been included, but were. Psychiatry as a field is over two centuries old and over that time has gathered great wisdom about mental illnesses. Today, much of that knowledge has been ignored and we have diagnoses such as "schizophrenia" and "bipolar disorder" that do not correspond to the diseases found in nature; we have also left out disease labels that on a historical basis may be real. Edward Shorter proposes a history-driven alternative to the DSM.


"Throughout his book, Shorter demonstrates his extensive knowledge of the subject; he is often quick to address questions and skepticisms that a critical reader may raise. The book is cleverly constructed; Shorter tends to guide the reader to the seminal themes and conclusions of the book rather than overtly stating them initially. In summation, this book is a good read. Although the polemical nature of What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5 may tempt one to play devil's advocate in response to the logic, Shorter facilitates a serious consideration of American psychiatry's current nosological system, and he provides an excellent history lesson as well."
Harry Whitaker, Emily DePetro, & Cecilia Brown, PsycCRITIQUES, 2015

"Edward Shorter is one of the greatest historians of health care alive today, and maybe the most gifted writer on the topic. In this seminal book Shorter manages not only to bridge the gap between scholar and clinician, but also make a convincing case that psychiatrists have a lot to learn from the history of their own field."
Ian Dowbiggin, PhD, FRSC, History Department, UPEI

"Every scientific field grinds to a halt from time to time and psychiatry is currently stuck in a cul-de-sac. This is when forgotten or inconvenient observations from the past can provide the best way forward. In What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5, Edward Shorter gives us a series of cornerstones that will have to be included in any new building if it is to stand. This book offers food for thought and is a great read"
David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry, Bangor University; Author, Pharmageddon

"Arguing that recent DSM "knowledge destruction engine" classification systems have been catastrophic for psychiatry, Edward Shorter’s polemic is written with a brio-fired challenge. If psychiatry has lost the plot in classifying psychiatric diseases, why not have a model provided by a historian? His ‘remembrance and respect of things past’ model builds on the wisdom of the consensual experiences clinicians accumulated over the centuries. Here, Shorter demonstrates his masterful and profound capacity to intertwine charting the history of psychiatric classification and to critically appraise it. This is a book to be read by all who wish to understand psychiatry’s historical territory and consider a stimulating and provocative alternate road map."
Gordon Parker, PhD, Scientia Professor of Psychiatry, University of NSW, Australia

"This new book from Dr. Shorter is an engaging romp through the history of psychiatric labeling over 4 centuries. Shorter once again proves he is an accomplished master of the European traditions that migrated to the USA, where they metamorphosed to, well, something else. He has deeply researched the origins of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, now in its Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The accounts of horse trading in the DSM committees are at times hilarious. One is reminded of the saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee! Throughout, there is a principled emphasis on clinical science rather than consensus, a respect for the wisdom of the past, and a grasp of all the threads that should contribute to a scientific classification of mental maladies – from clinical description to pathophysiology. The style is provocative, even cheeky in places, and this book is certain to spark useful dialogues for years to come."
Bernard J. Carroll, MBBS, PhD, FRC Psych, FRANZCP, Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center Durham

"Edward Shorter is the most knowledgeable, prolific, and venturesome historian of psychiatry writing in the English language today. What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5 is a bold example of what he does best, namely, bring an immense reservoir of historical knowledge, acquired from a lifetime of reading in several languages, to bear on our understanding of the present-day mental health world. Western psychiatrists and psychologists--including architects of the vaunted DSM--ignore psychiatry’s deep, remarkable past at their own peril, Shorter shows convincingly. This is a brilliant and timely polemic."
Mark S. Micale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign