Join me! My goal is to read the original DSM to see the origin of one of the most oppressive institutions in the modern world—to poke holes in it’s foundation and laugh at its absurdity.
This post is a follow-up on update #1. Here I outline the timeline of events leading up to the publication of the DSM in 1952. For those of you that do not want to know the backstory, tune back in later for Update #3.
This timeline of events was compiled from the facts presented in the foreward of the DSM
Reading the DSM-I foreward I learned something interesting: the 1952 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Mental Disorders (DSM) isn’t the first attempt at standardization of mental health. Standardization of mental health was sought after well before, as well as parallel to, standardization of general health and other specialty health areas.
The American Medico-psychological Association (now known as the American Psychiatric Association) formulates a plan for uniform statistics in hospitals for “mental disease” which is adopted by the Association in May 1917.
The National Committee for Mental Hygiene introduces this classification and statistical system in hospitals throughout the country, and continues to publish the Statistical Manual for Use of Hospitals for Mental Diseases throughout the years.
The New York Academy of Medicine spearheads a movement towards a nationally accepted standard of disease for general health and medicine.
The first National Conference on Nomenclature of Disease meets at the New York Academy of Medicine. The conference is made up of representatives of government agencies and national medical specialty societies.
Resulting from the National Conference on Nomenclature of Disease, the first official edition of the Standard Classified Nomenclature of Disease is published.
A considerable revision of the Statistical Manual for Use of Hospitals for Mental Diseases is published. This is the 8th edition of the Manual.
The second edition of the Standard Classified Nomenclature of Disease is published. There are minor changes in the section on “mental disorders.”
The nomenclature in the DSM constitutes, verbatim, the section on Diseases of the Psychobiologic Unit from the 4th edition of the Standard Nomenclature of Diseases and Operations, 1952.
*This is where American psychiatry diverged due to WWII and the psychiatric needs that come with war. Civilian psychiatry, or what the Statistical Manual for Use of Hospitals for Mental Diseases was originally intended for, quickly became nearly obsolete within military psychiatry due to its drastically different needs from civilian psychiatry. For more information on this divergence, stay tuned. (I’m not quite sure yet if I want to get into military psychiatry here or not)
The foreward is confusing in its presentation of these dates, so I hope it makes sense when laid out like this.
It is important to note that general medicine published its first edition of a standardized manual when psychiatry was releasing its 8th edition. The DSM-I was published in 1952, with eight editions of the Statistical Manual for Use of Hospitals for Mental Diseases being published before 1952.
Until next time!