The ideology, politics and moral values behind psychiatry’s new Bible (DSM-5)

I listened to a really interesting and thought provoking programme on the radio this morning…the interview of Will Hall (psychiatric survivor and advocate) with Gary Greenberg (psychotherapist) on Madness Radio, broadcasted from the USA. Gary Greenberg, among others, is the  author of Manufacturing Depression and The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry. 

Gary Greenberg reflected on the controversy of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM-5) and examined  the possibility of  alleviating human suffering without classifying it as a mental disorder arising from a chemical imbalance of the brain.

What I found most interesting in Gary Greenberg’s  interview is the way he exposed the ideology, politics and moral values behind psychiatry’s new Bible (DSM-5), whilst linking the DSM to the wider capitalist project (‘the programme’ as he calls it) in the USA and the associated values and principles of individualism (‘Each Man to their own and God against All’), personal responsibility, and human flourishing/happiness.

In Greenberg’s reflections, the DSM emerges clearly as an ideological and moral text, far from the scientifically objective and value -neutral image that the American Psychiatric Association promotes for the DSM project.

The interview with Gary Greeneberg can be accessed online at