Office—Business Administration Building 3124, College of Health & Human Services, California State University, Sacramento, Solano Hall No. 5002, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819. E-mail—[email protected].
California State University, Sacramento, professor of social work.
Book of the year award, Mind, 2000, for Making Us Crazy: DSM; The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders.
(With Stuart A. Kirk) The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry, A. de Gruyter (New York, NY), 1992.
(With Stuart A. Kirk) Making Us Crazy: DSM; The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders, Free Press (New York, NY), 1997.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A book titled Where the Buck Stops: Charitable Foundations and the American Way of Giving.
Herb Kutchins, a professor of social work, and his collaborator Stuart A. Kirk, a professor of social welfare, have written two books that critique the methods by which the psychiatric establishment determines and defines mental illness. These two books, The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry and Making Us Crazy: DSM; The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders, attempt to expose the methodological foundation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—commonly known as the DSM—and, by extension, the DSM's creator, the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
In Making Us Crazy, which Health and Social Work contributor Carlton E. Munson described as "a meticulously researched analysis," Kutchins and Kirk trace the history of revisions to the DSM since its inception in 1952. The authors debate whether the diagnosis of mental illness is a purely scientific process that aims to ensure human interest and health, or whether there are political and monetary issues that are underlying. Among the evolving diagnoses that Kutchins and Kirk examine is homosexuality, which was originally defined as moral weakness, then as a personality disorder, was later changed to a "sexual orientation disorder," only to finally be removed from the 1987 edition of the DSM after the APA voted that homosexuality could not be considered an illness. The politicization of what is often assumed to be a rigorously scientific field "is one of the book's most disturbing revelations," Ken Livingston commented in a Public Interest review of Making Us Crazy.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Community Mental Health, April, 2000, Kevin Corcoran, review of Making Us Crazy, pp. 217-219.
Health and Social Work, February, 2000, Carlton E. Munson, review of Making Us Crazy, p. 75.
Journal of the American Medical Association, October 13, 1993, Steven S. Sharfstein, review of The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry, pp. 1749-1750.
Lancet, March 14, 1998, Eve Leeman, review of Making Us Crazy, pp. 842-843.
Library Journal, November 15, 1997, Mary Ann Hughes, review of Making Us Crazy, p. 67.
Nature, October 23, 1997, review of Making Us Crazy, p. 805.
New England Journal of Medicine, April 15, 1993, Richard C. Shelton, review of The Selling of DSM, pp. 1132-1133.
New York Times Book Review, November 23, 1997, Mim Udovitch, review of Making Us Crazy, p. 22.
Public Interest, winter, 1999, Ken Livingston, review of Making Us Crazy, pp. 105-109.
Times (London, England), November 27, 1997, Tunku Varadarajan, review of Making Us Crazy, p. 15.
Times Literary Supplement, October 29, 1999, Carol Tavris, review of Making Us Crazy, p. 6.
Washington Monthly, January-February, 1998, E. Fuller, Torrey, review of Making Us Crazy, pp. 54-55.