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Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a…
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Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (2007)

by Christopher Lane

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I just couldn't get far into this book - the premise was fascinating (psychiatrists! drug companies! intrigue!) but the language was too dry and the constant footnote and statistic slinging rendered it less accessible than I would have liked. The author also seems to contradict himself a few times in the Introduction (about as far as I made it, although I did read a few pages into each of the chapters). This would have made a great NYT Magazine article, but as a book it lost my interest too quickly. ( )
  jentifer | Aug 15, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300143176, Paperback)

In the 1970s, a small group of leading psychiatrists met behind closed doors and literally rewrote the book on their profession. Revising and greatly expanding the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM for short), they turned what had been a thin, spiral-bound handbook into a hefty tome. Almost overnight the number of diagnoses exploded. The result was a windfall for the pharmaceutical industry and a massive conflict of interest for psychiatry at large. This spellbinding book is the first behind-the-scenes account of what really happened and why.

 

With unprecedented access to the American Psychiatric Association archives and previously classified memos from drug company executives, Christopher Lane unearths the disturbing truth: with little scientific justification and sometimes hilariously improbable rationales, hundreds of conditions—among them shyness—are now defined as psychiatric disorders and considered treatable with drugs. Lane shows how long-standing disagreements within the profession set the stage for these changes, and he assesses who has gained and what’s been lost in the process of medicalizing emotions. With dry wit, he demolishes the façade of objective research behind which the revolution in psychiatry has hidden. He finds a profession riddled with backbiting and jockeying, and even more troubling, a profession increasingly beholden to its corporate sponsors.

 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:31 -0400)

Discusses the effects of expanding the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)'s fourth edition on the psychiatric community, pharmaceutical companies, and the nation.

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Yale University Press

Two editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300124465, 0300143176

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