Next month, the latest edition of a book will be published in America that, according to its critics, will give you a starring role in your own private performance of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – by turning aspects of your normal behaviour, such as checking Twitter a little too often, into a new mental disorder.
Many see its publication as part of a continuing attempt to create order out of the chaos of the human mind by updating a set of common criteria for mental disorders that encourages research as well as helping in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Yet the debate is so polarised that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is publishing the $200 fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) into a maelstrom of controversy. Indeed, two of the DSM’s fiercest critics, Dr Allen Frances and Dr Robert Spitzer, are…
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