Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Understanding the DSM-5 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 book pairs diagnostic criteria and descriptions for a cross-section of mental illnesses in the DSM-5 with nineteen first-hand narrative accounts of what it’s like to live with those conditions. The book is also infused with the author’s own experience as a mental health nurse and person 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.
If you’re looking for the DSM-5 itself, you can find that on Amazon here.
- Autumn Skies from Autumn Skies Blog (social anxiety disorder)
- Alexis Rose from Untangled – excerpt here on PTSD
- Alice Franklin from How to Have Tourette’s – excerpt here on Tourette’s Disorder
- Beckie from Beckie’s Mental Mess – excerpt here on body-focused repetitive behaviours
- Candace from Revenge of Eve – excerpt here on alcohol use disorder
- Casey from This Bipolar Brat – excerpt here on ADHD
- Caz from Invisibly Me – excerpt here on bulimia nervosa
- Christina from Sea of Words – excerpt here on generalized anxiety disorder
- Elle Rose from Secret Lady Spider – excerpt here on depersonalization/derealization disorder
- Iggy from Color Me Bipolar – excerpt here on bipolar II disorder
- Johnzelle from Panoramic Counseling – excerpt here on panic disorder
- Katie Dale from Bipolar Brave on bipolar I disorder
- Katie from Confessions From a Sufferer of Anxiety and Depression (OCD, health anxiety)
- Luftmentsch from Vision of the Night – excerpt here on autism spectrum disorder
- Meg from Where Good Advice Happens – excerpt here on schizophrenia
- Noha Nova from Schizoaffective Disorder and My Life – excerpt here on schizoaffective disorder
- Paula from Light Motifs II – excerpt here on anorexia nervosa
- Wonderfull Creature from Mental Illness Worrior – excerpt here on borderline personality disorder
A good mental health consultation should always involve the professional sharing their thinking with the patient to reach a shared understanding; but too often it does not; or it can be hard to retain all the information. This book helps address that and empowers patients to be more equal partners in their mental health experiences. Every mental health service should have this in their waiting room!– Dr. Louise Atkin, Consultant Psychiatrist, Amazon UK
I love this book!! I could not put it down! It was actually a page turner…something very unusual for a clinical book in this therapist’s experience….user friendly for clinicians or non.– Sandi, Amazon.com
Ashley’s book can be summarized as, “The DSM-5 for Dummies.” I wish I had this book when I was in graduate school because it would have made understanding mental illness much easier.– Johnzelle Anderson, LPC, Panoramic Counseling
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About Ashley L. Peterson
I began my career in health care as a pharmacist in 2002, and quickly returned to school to become a nurse two years later. I specialized in the field of mental health for my entire 15-year career, working with people with serious mental illness in both hospital and community settings.
Two years into my nursing career, I was hospitalized with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Since then, I’ve been passionate about challenging the stigma around mental illness. I completed a Master of Psychiatric Nursing degree in 2015, despite two hospitalizations while in grad school. My thesis work and several academic journal publications focused on my experience of mental illness within the context of nursing culture.
Related Blog Posts
- Book excerpts:
- A glossary of psychiatric terms
- The Mental Status Exam (MSE) in psychiatry
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