Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis aims to cut through the misinformation, stigma, and assumptions that surround mental illness and give a clear picture of what mental illness really is.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5) has been criticized for overly subjective diagnostic criteria and pathologizing normal human experience. This book will discuss the right and the wrong way to use the DSM, and the problems inherent in trying to diagnose oneself or others.
The book is structured based on diagnostic groupings in the DSM-5. It will help readers to understand the diagnostic criteria for a wide range of different mental illnesses, and gain an appreciation of what those criteria actually mean. Since symptom criteria can only capture a part of what a condition is truly like, many of the diagnoses in this book are paired with narratives from contributors with first hand lived experiences of these illnesses. The book is also infused with the author's 15 years of experience as a mental health nurse working with clients with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses, as well as her own experience living with depression.
With the fusion of diagnostic information, clinical experience, and lived experience, this book offers a unique, well-rounded perspective on the reality of mental illness.