Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis by Ashley L. Peterson
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. The book is also infused with the author's 15 years of experience as a mental health nurse working with clients with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses, as well as her own experience living with depression.
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.
About The Author...
Ashley L. Peterson
Ashley began her career in health care as a pharmacist in 2002, and quickly returned to school to become a nurse two years later. She specialized in the field of mental health for her entire 15-year career, working with people with serious mental illness in both hospital and community settings.
Two years into her nursing career, Ashley was hospitalized with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Since then, she’s been passionate about challenging the stigma around mental illness. She completed a Master of Psychiatric Nursing degree in 2015, despite two hospitalizations while in grad school. Her thesis work and several academic journal publications focused on her experience of mental illness within the context of nursing culture.
Ashley created the blog Mental Health @ Home in 2017 to create a community to foster open, supportive conversation about mental health issues.
She lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her pet guinea pigs.
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