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Saving Normal (Paperback)

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Allen Frances
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In this book the author, a psychiatrist, makes a critique of the widespread medicalization of normality. He argues that the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders threatens to destroy what is considered normal and that grief, sorrow, stress, disappointment, and other feelings are part of life, not a psychiatric disease. Anyone living a full, rich life experiences ups and downs, stresses, disappointments, sorrows, and setbacks. These challenges are a normal part of being human, and they should not be treated as psychiatric disease. However, today millions of people who are really no more than ""worried well"" are being diagnosed as having a mental disorder and are receiving unnecessary treatment. Here the author warns that mislabeling everyday problems as mental illness has shocking implications for individuals and society: stigmatizing a healthy person as mentally ill leads to unnecessary, harmful medications, the narrowing of horizons, misallocation of medical resources, and draining of the budgets of families and the nation. We also shift responsibility for our mental well-being away from our own naturally resilient and self-healing brains, which have kept us sane for hundreds of thousands of years, and into the hands of ""Big Pharma,"" who are reaping multi-billion-dollar profits. He cautions that the new edition of the ""bible of psychiatry,"" the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5), will turn our current diagnostic inflation into hyperinflation by converting millions of ""normal"" people into ""mental patients."" Alarmingly, in DSM-5, normal grief will become ""Major Depressive Disorder"""

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