Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shelving: Dosed by Kaitlin Bell Barnett

I just finished Allen Frances's Saving Normal, a criticism of the DSM-5 and the trend of over-diagnoses, and am re-reading Dosed, which focuses on the (now adult) generation of kids where diagnoses of ADHD, Autism, and childhood depression became increasingly common and it wasn't usual for a significant chunk of a class to be medicated. As someone who just missed the "dosed" generation, and probably could qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD, I find it a fascinating, frustrating topic and one that's often underscored by success stories. Another thing that's rarely mentioned -- and I've said this many times over -- is how class factors into mental health care. Not just the access to resources, the but the language of mental health care and the subjectivity that comes with accessing mental illness. There is no definitive test for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia aside self-report, and with symptom overlap, it's not usual for two patients to present similarly but one given a diagnosis of schizophrenia and the other bipolar. Both are serious illnesses, but the latter has a far better prognosis.