Description: The contributions of various clinicians and researchers who participated in the 2006 Corresponding Committee on Religion, Spirituality, and Psychiatry of the American Psychiatric Association are collected in this book.
Purpose: With the growing interest and research in spirituality and mental health, this book assesses the role of spiritual and religious considerations in the development of the DSM-V, specifically addressing the spiritual, cultural, and philosophical considerations clinicians face when distinguishing psychiatric disorders from spiritual and/or religious conditions. The information in this book forms the basis for expanding the current DSM beyond the limited V-Code of "religious or spiritual problem" to include pertinent religious and spiritual issues that can impact the differential diagnosis and thus treatment of various psychiatric presentations.
Audience: Because of the growing recognition of the impact of religious and spiritual issues in mental health and the perception that the history of psychiatry has been hostile towards these issues, mental health practitioners from all disciplines will benefit from this book by understanding applicable religious and spiritual considerations in their practice.
Features: Each chapter focuses on a specific area of psychiatry and the role of religion and spirituality on a particular subject. Each author outlines the history and research of their recommendations for changes in the DSM-V and illustrates future research needs. The chapters include limited graphs and charts with a complete list of references and are complemented by two commentaries addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the particular section. Areas covered include the role of spirituality and religion in depression, psychosis, substance abuse, adjustment disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, child and adolescent psychopathology, personality disorders, and cultural formation, the implications of the V-Code in the DSM-IV, and the difficulty in differentiating delusions from spiritual experiences.
Assessment: During my training, we heard from various speakers invited to discuss the impact of their religious and/or spiritual beliefs related to their specific religion and/or culture and we had some interaction with the Department of Religion, Health & Human Values. While these interactions were helpful, they were limited with the wide variety of patient encounters. This book is very important because it identifies the lack of research in religious and spiritual issues, the complexity of this important area that plays a large role in the lives of a majority of the population that seeks psychiatric care, and provides needed recommendations and future direction to better care for psychiatric patients who are often reluctant to bring up these important issues.