(Mis)Diagnosed, by Jonathan Foiles
In a clear, empathetic style, Jonathan Foiles, author of the critically acclaimed This City Is Killing Me, takes us through troubling examples of bias in mental health work. Placing them in context of past blunders in the history of psychiatry and the DSM, he looks closely at questions that lay bare the intersections between mental health care, race, gender, and sexuality:
• Why are women more likely to be labeled borderline personalities?
• Is transphobia being treated today like homosexuality was in the past?
• Has “protest psychosis,” a term used to diagnose Black men during the civil rights era, simply been renamed schizoaffective disorder?
• How different is our current label of “intellectual disability” from the history of eugenics?
• What does it actually mean to be diagnosed with a “mental illness”?
This slim but wide-ranging collection of essays wrestles with these questions and offers potential ways forward in a world where mental health diagnoses can be helpful, but not necessarily absolute.
A pragmatic and sympathetic guide to how we might craft a better and more just therapeutic future for all people.