Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by Allen Frances

1579 Words 7 Pages
The overall message and core argument this book offers is that the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, will cause an enormous increase of people who are not mentally ill being diagnosed with a mental disorder and receiving unnecessary treatment for it. Allen Frances argues that assigning everyday problems to mental disorders causes massive disadvantages for individuals and society. Diagnosing a healthy person as mentally ill will lead to unnecessary, harmful medications, the constricting of horizons, misallocation of medical recourses, and wasting the budgets of families and the state. He states as well that we do not take responsibility for our own mental well-being. We do not trust our self-healing brains anymore, which have kept us sane all this time, but we put our trust in the medications of the drug companies, the ‘’Big Pharma’’ as Frances calls it, which are making immense profits. According to Frances the DSM-5 will turn the current diagnostic inflation in the United States into hyperinflation by converting millions of ‘’normal’’ people into ‘’people with a mental disorder’’. This will cause that individuals who really need psychiatric help are ignored, while the ‘’worried well’’ receive most of the treatment, which will often causes nothing more than damage for them. Frances charts the history of psychiatric fads throughout history and argues that whenever we randomly label another aspect of the human condition a…