Three American Psychiatric Association (APA) DSM related pieces

Three American Psychiatric Association (APA) DSM related pieces

Post #10 Shortlink:

Update @ 24 January

Discussion of the Ethan Watters New York Times Magazine article “The Americanization of Mental Illness” here:


Monday, January 11, 2010
The globalization of biopsychiatry

A collaborative weblog covering the intersections of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural psychiatry and bioethics.

with extracts from this Kirmayer and Sartorius article:

Psychosomatic Medicine 69:832-840 (2007)
© 2007 American Psychosomatic Society


Cultural Models and Somatic Syndromes   [Full paper]
Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD and Norman Sartorius, MD, PhD

From the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Update: 22 January

New Scientist

23 January 2010

Invasion of the mind-snatchers

Western notions of mental illness are one of the US’s most insideous exports – and they are spreading around the world like a contagion, says Ethan Watters

Ethan Watters is a journalist who writes on social trends for publications that include Wired and The New York Times Magazine. His books include Urban Tribes. This essay is based on his latest book, Crazy Like Us: The globalization of the American psyche (Free Press/Simon and Schuster)

The New Yorker

3 January 2010

The Dictionary of Disorder
How one man revolutionized psychiatry

Alix Spiegel

…Robert Spitzer isn’t widely known outside the field of mental health, but he is, without question, one of the most influential psychiatrists of the twentieth century. It was Spitzer who took the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the official listing of all mental diseases recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (A.P.A.)—and established it as a scientific instrument of enormous power. Because insurance companies now require a DSM diagnosis for reimbursement, the manual is mandatory for any mental-health professional seeking compensation. It’s also used by the court system to help determine insanity, by social-services agencies, schools, prisons, governments, and, occasionally, as a plot device on “The Sopranos.”

Read more: here


New York Times Magazine

The Americanization of Mental Illness

8 January 2010

Ethan Watters

Ethan Watters lives in San Francisco. This essay is adapted from his book “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche,” which will be published later this month by Free Press.

Dr Sing Lee, referred to in this article is a member of the DSM-5 Work Group for “Somatic Symptom Disorders”.


Psychiatric Times Blogspot

Western Psychiatric Imperialism, or Something Else?

12 January 2010

Ronald Pies responds to the essay in the New York Times Magazine, The Americanization of Mental Illness.


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