• Saving Normal

  • An Insider’s Revolt Against out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life
  • By: Allen Frances MD
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Saving Normal  By  cover art

Saving Normal

By: Allen Frances MD
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
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Publisher's Summary

In Saving Normal, Allen Frances, one of the world's most influential psychiatrists, warns that mislabeling everyday problems as mental illness has shocking implications for individuals and society: Stigmatizing a healthy person as mentally ill leads to unnecessary, harmful medications, the narrowing of horizons, misallocation of medical resources, and draining of the budgets of families and the nation. We also shift responsibility for our mental well-being away from our own naturally resilient and self-healing brains, which have kept us sane for hundreds of thousands of years, and into the hands of Big Pharma, who are reaping multibillion-dollar profits.

Masterfully charting the history of psychiatric fads throughout history, Frances argues that whenever we arbitrarily label another aspect of the human condition a "disease", we further chip away at our human adaptability and diversity, dulling the full palette of what is normal and losing something fundamental of ourselves in the process. Saving Normal is a call to all of us to reclaim the full measure of our humanity.

©2013 Allen Frances (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Saving Normal

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Right on the money

I think this book must be read by every medical student in the nation. It is ridiculous how many children and adolescents are wrongly diagnosed with a mood disorder and placed on antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. It is sad to see too many young children, as young as five-year-old, medicated with dangerous psychotropic cocktail drugs provided by child psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, misdiagnosing normal children, who often have anger and behavioral problems, with the wrong diagnosis of Child Bipolar Disorder, or the new DSM-5 child diagnosis: Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
I enjoyed learning about the development of the DSM-IV and how big pharmaceutical companies used it as a tool to expand their market with propaganda to the general public, and to prescribers including family doctors and psychiatrists.

4 people found this helpful

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Well spoken, important topic, presented concisely.

This book is of paramount importance, and is presented well enough that lay folk can understand it and professionals can appreciate its message.

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful on Several Fronts

First, I found out I was ADHD (or whatever the acronym is).
Second, the title suggested a lame self-motivational book. I tried it and was relieved that it was science (or at least a field struggling toward it).
Third, that I was not the only one who thought that the DSM-5 read more like astrology than science.
Fourth, that pharmaceuticals are largely a fad (maybe that is confirmation bias, since that is what I've observed in my sorry generation).
And Last, that my Philosophy of Broader Survival still stands as a potential step in anxiety treatment (since it get to the core of the problem, and does not merely treat the symptom).
The narration was engaging, and the author used a few clever similes and metaphors to make points.

1 person found this helpful

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Good viewpoint, excessive evolution theory indoctrination

He makes some very good points and has a respectable position. He rams evolution theory down your throat though.

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Good read.

I really enjoyed the historical look at medicine and psychiatry. As a mental health therapist, this provided me with some helpful insight. However, it was a bit long.

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Insightful.

Best insights and well organised ideas. Allow nature take course, seek psychotherapy then Psychiatry last.

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A lot of interesting info

Lest you think psychiatry is more science than art, Dr. Frances illuminates just how subjective it all is. I appreciate that he owned his part in laying the foundation for diagnostic overreach, and that he gives some solid suggestions for reigning in psychopharmacology driven practice and correcting our course. It’s telling that this was written in 2013- before it was revealed that the FDA was in bed with the Sacklers as they fed our country to the lion of opioid abuse. Frances’s supposition that the FDA would be a better shepherd for the DSM seems ludicrous now.

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Someone had to say it

As a psychiatric provider, it appears as if the public opinion towards psychiatry is often misguided. Here are a few frustratingly common beliefs:

1. People who have mental illness should just get their shit together like everyone else (denial).
2. Can you write me a note for disability with my Xanax? My last doctor said it was fine.
3. Big pharma ate my baby and gave it autism. Drugs are poison, all you need is organic food.
4. I haz wahburger, plz fixxor me
5. I read an article about bipolar disorder and that’s totally why my daughters a bitch.
6. This patient keeps asking for adderall, can you consult so I can get back to work?

This book explores some of the mistakes made in the practice of and misconceptions about psychiatry. Also included are instructions for doing it better. It should be required reading for clinicians as well as for family members of patients.

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Amazing

Best book I’ve listened to in a long time. Amazing insight into how we have come to find ourselves in the current situation, and from as qualified of a source as one could ever hope to find. I wish there were more professionals as brutally honest about their “own team” in every field

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what a great book

loved it reassured what I always new great book great audible love what the book represented