Or get reimagined that way, anyway.
Readers may recall that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the psychiatric handbook of mental disorders (in North America), once regarded as a tool of medical science, took a huge hit recently, because its ”weakness is its lack of validity.” It’s a curious fact that information from this document could be used to detain people against their will; and yet now …
Now it is reimagined as an unconventional novel:
… also not exactly a conventional novel. Its full title is an unwieldy mouthful: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The author (or authors) writes under the ungainly nom de plume of The American Psychiatric Association – although a list of enjoyably silly pseudonyms is provided inside (including Maritza Rubio-Stipec, Dan Blazer, and the superbly alliterative Susan Swedo). The thing itself is on the cumbersome side. Over two inches thick and with a thousand pages, it’s unlikely to find its way to many beaches. Not that this should deter anyone; within is a brilliantly realized satire, at turns luridly absurd, chillingly perceptive, and profoundly disturbing.
There may be a lesson in the fate of psychiatry’s DSM for other sciences whose representatives think that censorship, firings, etc., will solve problems with lack of validity.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose