With Every New Edition, A New Schema of Labeling


With the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) due for publication in May 2013, the classification of mental disorders and the categorization of psychiatric definitions is yet again being reviewed, revised, and reworded.

Many of us may be asking ourselves, “does changing the label we use to define ourselves change our condition in and of itself?” How does psychiatric labeling–and its perpetual evolution– affect our perception of ourselves, our minds, and our lives? Marcia Angell, much like Joan Didion in her forthcoming memoir Blue Nights, explores the interrelations between psychiatrists, the pharmaceutical industry, psychoactive drugs, and patients in her article “The Illusions of Psychiatry.”

Claire Rush studies Geography and French at UC Berkeley. She lives in one of the largest co-ops in North America and has been an active member in the Berkeley Student Cooperative for the last two years. Apart from yoga and biking and the occasional hike, her main activities include chilling, hanging around, trying to teach herself how to cook, daydreaming about Burning Man, and watching seasons of old TV shows on the internet. More from this author →