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Group members may be interested in a new site on the philosophy of psychiatry. Go to: http://www.neurotransmission.wordpress.com to read and respond to the blog's inaugural post -- an extended essay on mothers, madness, and the future of the DSM.
The essay’s called DECONSTRUCTING THE PSYCHIATRIC BIBLE, or “DSM-V, how the American Psychiatric Association told me my mom was crazy, and how I found the true meaning of madness and sanity at the edge of neuroscience.” In it, I tell the story of how I tried to diagnose my mother’s mental illness, and get to grips with the current controversies in the psychiatric diagnostic system. It’s both deeply personal and philosophically reflective -- a marriage of brain science, investigative journalism and emotional introspection – and I believe it will resonate with anyone interested in, or affected by, the issue of what it means to deal with mental illness.
Going forward, NEUROTRANSMISSION will document the controversial and emotionally charged arena of mental health and psychiatric treatment. The blog will consider the ongoing debate concerning the nature of mental disorder, based on the state-of-the-art in psychology, psychiatry and contemporary culture. Is mental illness directly analogous to physical illness, caused by specific dysfunctions in genetics or brain biochemistry? Or is madness in the eye of the beholder, a normative social construct? What does it mean to be "sane," anyway, in a world riven by social pathologies? NEUROTRANSMISSION will consider the spectrum of serious dialog on these timeworn yet urgent questions, from the perspectives of psychiatry, psychology, the arts, philosophy and cultural anthropology, striving to capture the latest understandings of both mental illness and health in the developed west and beyond.
I look forward to your comments and feedback. Please forward the blog URL to anyone you think might be interested.
A brief bio: I have a literary background (MA in English from Oxford) but now work in mental health (counseling homeless youth).