I’m thrilled to announce the release a book by my fellow blogging friend, Ashley at MentalHealth@Home, available on Amazon from September 9th 2019 :
Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis by Ashley L. Peterson.
In a nutshell, this is an exploration of psychiatric diagnosis, with coverage of various conditions and personal experiences from external contributors. It’s a book to uncover the reality of mental illness.
Mental health issues can be viewed as invisible conditions, and I think it’s fantastic that an author has attempted to address issues around diagnosis in such a down to earth, relatable yet professional way. Content like this is instrumental in replacing stigma, judgement and misinformation with compassion, insight and understanding.
I had the honour of being able to share a glimpse of my experience with one of the topics, bulimia, that she covers in this book. Others have also contributed their thoughts to make a collage of colourful, first hand experiences to bring these topics to life.
What To Expect
Ashley covers the experience of diagnosis, issues around misinformation, diagnostic criteria, the role of diagnosis in recovery and a discussion on the the systems of diagnosis. The book is like a sandwich – discussion around general diagnosis, coverage of specific conditions, then more evaluation. There’s also a chapter of what diagnosis means for a patient’s recovery, using interview prompts with the contributors to give personal, first hand insights.
It covers a range of mental health issues, including the likes of : Anxiety disorders, bipolar, depressive disorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, gender dysphoria, neurodevelopment disorders, OCD, psychotic disorders, somatic symptom disorder, substance use, as well as trauma and stress-related disorders.
The chapters for the specific conditions are laid out intuitively to thoroughly cover aspects such as the criteria for diagnosis and symptoms, and an excerpt of a personal story from one of the contributors. At the end, you’ll find information on the contributors and a biography of the author.
A Thorough & Engaging Read
It’s not often writers can make psychiatry easy to understand, engaging and useful all in one go. But Ashley has managed to do just this, covering and exploring the issues around mental illness diagnosis and the criteria with which individuals are assessed against. She covers the topics thoroughly and makes highly relevant, extremely thought-provoking points throughout.
Who’s it for? I would argue anyone and everyone, those with and those without experience of any mental health issues / mental illness, medical professionals, friends and loved ones of those with mental illness, workers in the medical/social/psychological/psychiatric fields, those with a passing interest in such conditions, and anyone wanting to broaden their understanding of psychiatry and the human condition.
From The Author
As per Ashley, here’s a little about her book :
“Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis aims to cut through the misinformation, stigma, and assumptions that surround mental illness and give a clear picture of what mental illness really is.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5) has been criticized for overly subjective diagnostic criteria and pathologizing normal human experience. This book will discuss the right and the wrong way to use the DSM, and the problems inherent in trying to diagnose oneself or others.
The book is structured based on diagnostic groupings in the DSM-5. It will help readers to understand the diagnostic criteria for a wide range of different mental illnesses, and gain an appreciation for what those criteria actually mean. Since symptom criteria can only capture a part of what a condition is truly like, many of the diagnoses in this book are paired with narratives from contributors with first hand lived experiences of these illnesses.
With the fusion of diagnostic information, clinical experience, and lived experience, this book offers a unique, well-rounded perspective on the reality of mental illness.“
Pick Up Your Copy
I’m really glad I was able to read this & honoured to be able to have contributed in a very small way to the personal side of this book. It’s an incredibly insightful and thought-provoking read that I’m thrilled to highly recommend.