Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018


In this research essay, Kaitlyn Marsh clearly explains the benefits of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Illnesses (DSM), in terms of promoting more humane treatment of people with mental illness, offering credibility that mental illness is in fact a medical issue, and establishing consistency in how psychologists and psychiatrists diagnose and treat patients. However, Kaitlyn also explains how the thorough diagnostic checklists and information have enabled “big pharma” to exploit the DSM to generate a dramatic increase in the numbers of Americans being diagnosed with and medicated for mental illness. She concludes that the DSM is an invaluable resource, but that we must educate ourselves to mitigate the harm that can be caused by over-diagnosis and over-medicalization. (Seth Mendelowitz)


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