Diagnosis and the DSM: A Critical Review

New book by our colleague Stijn Vanheule (Kring) :
  "Diagnosis and the DSM: A Critical Review" 
 now published by Palgrave Macmillan. 

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This book provides a critical evaluation of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Starting from a historical overview of the evolution in psychiatric diagnosis, I assert that the diagnostic reliability of the DSM-5 is overrated: important factors that undermine its diagnostic reliability have never been sufficiently addressed and the common idea that the handbook is reliable rests on a biased interpretation of statistical data. The book argues that the DSM-5 builds on a narrow biomedical approach to mental disorders that neglects context, and proposes its replacement with a contextualizing model of mental health symptoms. Drawing from phenomenological psychiatry and Lacanian psychoanalysis, I conclude that a reflexive account of psychopathology is urgently needed.

Stijn Vanheule

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