“Nearly 50 percent of Americans have been mentally ill at some point in their lives, and more than a quarter have suffered from mental illness in the past twelve months. Madness, it seems, is rampant in America.”
This is how Richard J. McNally opens his new book, What Is Mental Illness? Earlier this year, David Dobbs of the Neuron Culture blog at Wired, recommended that I try to get my hands on an advance copy of this new book by McNally, a Professor of Psychology at Harvard. Well, I did indeed manage to get my hands on a galley copy of the book, thanks to the fine folks at Harvard University Press.
Today, you can see my review of the book (short version: its a great read, especially in advance of the publication of DSM-5, which will happen in May 2013) over at David’s blog, Neuron Culture, at Wired Science.
When way most of us think about psychopathology, or abnormal psychology, we think of mental illness. We think of disability. We think of something perhaps maladaptive, at least in the everyday sense of psychosocial functioning, if not in the larger evolutionary sense. We tend to think that something inside the mind of the mentally disabled is fundamentally broken. This seems a fairly reasonable understanding of mental illness, but if you dive a bit deeper into the field of psychopathology, the waters begin to get a bit murkier.
But don’t just take my word for it – check out What Is Mental Illness? for yourself, and let me know what you think!