25 Sep Saving Normal
Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life by Allen Frances
Summary: Anyone living a full, rich life experiences ups and downs, stresses, disappointments, sorrows, and setbacks. Today, however, millions of people who are really no more than “worried well” are being diagnosed as having a mental disorder and receiving unnecessary treatment. In Saving Normal, Allen Frances, one of the world’s most influential psychiatrists, explains why stigmatizing a healthy person as mentally ill leads to unnecessary, harmful medications, the narrowing of horizons, the misallocation of medical resources, and the draining of the budgets of families and the nation. We also shift responsibility for our mental well-being away from our own naturally resilient brains and into the hands of “Big Pharma,” who are reaping multi-billion-dollar profits. Frances cautions that the newest edition of the “bible of psychiatry,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5), is turning our current diagnostic inflation into hyperinflation by converting millions of “normal” people into “mental patients.” Saving Normal is a call to all of us to reclaim the full measure of our humanity.
Angie’s Comments: This is a fascinating look into psychiatry and psychology and the changes that have happened over the years. While I don’t agree with all of Allen Frances’s views, I would recommend this book. It has made me think about psychiatry and the use of diagnoses and medication.
Recommend for people who are interested in psychiatry and mental illness.