Descriptions and Prescriptions: Values, Mental Disorders, and the DSMs

Descriptions and Prescriptions: Values, Mental Disorders, and the DSMs

by John Z. Sadler MD

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Most everyone agrees that having pneumonia or a broken leg is always a bad thing, but not everyone agrees that sadness, grief, anxiety, or even hallucinations are always bad things. This fundamental disjunction in how disease and disorders are valued is the basis for the considerations in Descriptions and Prescriptions.

In this book John Z. Sadler, M.D., brings together a distinguished group of contributors to examine how psychiatric diagnostic classifications are influenced by the values held by mental health professionals and the society in which they practice. The aim of the book, according to Sadler, is "to involve psychiatrists, psychologists, philosophers, and scholars in related fields in an intimate exchange about the role of values in shaping past and future classifications of mental disorders."

Contributors: George J. Agich, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Carol Berkenkotter, Ph.D., Michigan Technological University; Lee Anna Clark, Ph.D., University of Iowa; K.W.M. Fulford, D.Phil., F.R.C.Psych., University of Warwick, Coventry; Irving I. Gottesman, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Laura Lee Hall, Ph.D.; Cathy Leaker, Ph.D., Empire State College; Chris Mace, M.D., M.R.C.Psych., University of Warwick, Coventry; Laurie McQueen, M.S.S.W., American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C.; Christian Perring, Ph.D., Dowling College; James Phillips, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine; Harold Alan Pincus, M.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Jennifer H. Radden, D.Phil., University of Massachusetts; Doris J. Ravotas, M.A., L.L.P., Michigan Technological University; Patricia A. Ross, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Kenneth F. Schaffner, M.D., Ph.D., George Washington University; Michael Alan Schwartz, M.D., Case Western Reserve University; Daniel W. Shuman, J.D., Southern Methodist University; Allyson Skene, Ph.D., York University; Jerome C. Wakefield, D.S.W., Rutgers University; Thomas A. Widiger, Ph.D., University of Kentucky; Osborne P. Wiggins, Ph.D., University of Louisville.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801876837
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 04/30/2003
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 418
File size: 18 MB
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Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Z. Sadler, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Table of Contents


List of Contributors


PART ONE: Introduction and Background

1 Introduction

2 The Limits of an Evidence-Based Classification of Mental Disorders

3 Values, Politics, and Science in the Construction of the DSMs

PART TWO: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations

4 Values and Objectivity in Psychiatric Nosology

5 Survival of the Fittest? Conceptual Selection in Psychiatric Nosology

6 Technical Reason in the DSM-IV: An Unacknowledged Value

7 Implications of a Pragmatic Theory of Disease for the DSMs

8 Rethinking Normativism in Psychiatric Classification

PART THREE: Diagnostic Categories and Values

9 Evaluation and Devaluation in Personality Assessment

10 Values and Validity of Diagnostic Criteria: Disvalued versus Disordered Conditions of Childhood and Adolescence

11 Implications of an Embrace: The DSMs, Happiness, and Capability

12 Why Criteria of Involuntary Action Are Value Laden

PART FOUR: Personal and Collective Interests

13 The Hegemony of the DSMs

14 What Patient and Families Look for in Psychiatric Diagnosis

15 Softened Science in the Courtroom: Forensic Implications of a Value-Laden Classification

16 Speaking Across the Border: A Patient Assessment of Located Languages, Values, and Credentials in Psychiatric Classification

17 Psychotherapists as Authors: Microlevel Analysis of Therapists' Written Reports

PART FIVE: Visions for the Future

18 Clinical and Etiological Psychiatric Diagnoses: Do Causes Count?

19 Defining Genetically Informed Phenotypes for the DSM-V

20 Values in Developing Psychiatric Classifications: A Proposal for the DSM-V

21 Report to the Chair of the DSM-VI Task Force from the Editors of Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, "Contentious and Noncontentious Evaluative Language in Psychiatric Diagnosis" (Dateline 2010)



What People are Saying About This

Dean F. MacKinnon

"The scholarship is of high quality and the contributors draw deeply on the literature relevant to their methodologies and perspectives. The multiplicity of approaches nicely illustrates the book's major aim: to make the process of devising a psychiatric nosology more democratic and inclusive."

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