Reviews

Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5

This American Psychiatric Association text is intended as a straightforward guide to the United States DSM-5 diagnostic system for mental disorders.

The book offers clear examples and case studies of disorders and treatments, and is a well-written, accessible guide to a wide-range of psychiatric diagnoses.

However, as this book is aimed at US readers, the diagnostic system used is the DSM-5, not the NHS’s preferred World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases, ICD-10. It also refers to US legislation, and to some treatment options and practices that are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or available in the UK.

What the book does not touch on is any of the controversies around psychiatric diagnoses, or the limitations of diagnosis in conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and autistic spectrum disorders, which share symptoms in common, but have widely varying outcomes and responses to treatments.

This book would be useful to beginners and non-specialists who want to gain a greater understanding of the DSM diagnostic system.It includes important warning signs for mental illness and contains resources, such as a glossary, medications list and support groups.

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