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Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis Paperback – October 8, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0765700018 ISBN-10: 0765700018

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc. (October 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765700018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765700018
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #963,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Providing historical and sociological analyses, the contributors demonstrate bias in diagnoses, stemming from sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia/heterosexism, and classism. They argue that awareness of bias is important to any "helping" profession involved with diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, mental retardation, parental alienation syndrome, learning disabilities, sexual dysfunction, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, false memory syndrome, agoraphobia, eating disorders, histrionic personality, and menstrual distress. Summing Up: Recommended. (Choice Magazine)

Taken as a whole these collected essays offer an interesting starting point from which to begin a more rigorous inquiry into the problem and ultimately encourage action at both the individual and the professional level. The authors of this text should be congratulated on their worthy attempt to meet this challenge. (Psyccritiques—Contemporary Psychology: Apa Review Of Books)

The collection is powerful, unique, comprehensive, cogent, sane, balanced, and extremely important. It covers almost every major form of bias and oppression, as well as the profound biases embedded in many individual diagnostic labels. This is a must-read for all mental health professionals and their clients. (Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D.)

This is an extraordinarily important book. It should be required reading for all mental health professionals and especially for all teaching programs. Further, it could serve as an excellent illustration of the social construction of what comes to be called science. It is that and also much more than an intellectual exercise because these issues affect profoundly the fate of so many people. (Jean Baker Miller, M.D.)

By unraveling the roles of ideology, socially-constructed norms, and commercial interests in psychiatric diagnosis, this valuable book of original essays helps to explain the meteoric rise in psychotropic drug use and the new social trend of psychopharmaphilia. A book of accessible and stimulating original essays that unravels the complex web of transscientific factors and bias that enter into psychiatric diagnosis. (Krimsky, Sheldon Planning At Tufts University)

From the Publisher

-Written accessibly for lay people but packed with information of immediate relevance to therapists, counselors, lawyers, physicians, nurses
-Thorough and sophisticated coverage of bias in diagnosis and its life-changing consequences for patients and their families
-Scientifically-grounded, cogently argued, and brilliantly reasoned
-Invaluable for practitioners, most of whom are unaware of the depth and breadth of bias in psychiatric diagnosis and of the cavalier way in which creators of psychiatric diagnoses distort or ignore the relevant scientific research
-Individual chapters about a vast array of forms of bias, including racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and heterosexism
-Individual chapters about a great many specific diagnoses
-Filled with practical advice for patients, their families, and therapists about ways to minimize the harm that can result from being psychiatrically diagnosed
-Some chapters about legal aspects of bias in psychiatric diagnosis
-The first-ever empirical study of the absence of critical thinking about psychiatric diagnosis in abnormal psychology textbooks
-Invaluable for undergraduates and graduate students for providing a counterbalance to the unquestioning, uncritical ways that psychiatric diagnosis is currently taught --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By psychologist and mom on May 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have taught abnormal psychology and have taught cultural/feminist crtiques of psychology--this book pulls it all together beautifully. The chapters are quite short and cover a broad range of issues (discrimination against poor rural women, legal issues concerning bias in diagnosing, specific "diagnoses" like false memory syndrome, parental alienation syndrome, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, etc). The book is well-written and easy for readers to grasp. It is straight-forward enough for non-psychologists or undergrads, and sophisticated enough for experienced professionals.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allen Ivey on April 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Few really understand what is going on in the mental health profession. Paula Caplan resigned from DSM IV because she discovered that it basicallly is a hoax for Big Pharma profits.

The book is well written, fascinating, and needs to be on every professional's bookshelf.
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