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A Great Literature Guide to the DSM-5

Eric Altschuler

Publication Date - July 2017

ISBN: 9781605356761

120 pages

In Stock

Examines prominent literary characters, their apparent mental disorders or diseases, and how those disorders and diseases meet the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria


This text examines prominent individuals from great literature and their apparent mental disorders or diseases. It then investigates how those disorders and diseases meet the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5) diagnostic criteria, and how the authors of these stories could have had enough knowledge to create characters who were suffering from mental illness hundreds of years before these illnesses were classified or defined.

About the Author(s)

Eric L. Altschuler, MD, PhD is Associate Chief and Residency Program Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York City. His primary research interest is basic and clinically applied cognitive neuroscience: the search to understand how the brain works and how this knowledge can be applied to treat disease. Dr. Altschuler was the first to show a benefit of mirror therapy for individuals with hemiparesis following strokes and the use of mirror therapy for an orthopaedic condition.

Table of Contents

    Foreword by V.S. Ramachandran, M.D., Ph.D

    Section 1: Introduction to the DSM
    Chapter 1. The Case of Samson Son of Manoah

    Section 2: DSM-5 Diagnoses in Great Literature
    Chapter 2. Using the DSM-5: The Oldest Case of Schizophrenia Found in a Story by Nicolai Gogol
    Chapter 3. A Hoarding Old Man and a Disembodied Nose: Other Diagnoses in Gogol
    Chapter 4. The Case of Dr. Henry Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., PH.D
    Chapter 5. Melville's Bartleby: Why the Scrivener Preferred Not
    Chapter 6. An Elementary Diagnosis
    Chapter 7. ADHD in a Seventeenth-Century Dutch Village School
    Chapter 8. Disease in the Hundred-Acre Wood: Pediatric Psychiatric Disease in Literature
    Chapter 9. Moving and Sleeping with Dickens and Dracula
    Chapter 10. PTSD: A Continuing Saga of Many Wars and Two Cities

    Section 3: Neuropsychiatric Disease in Literature
    Chapter 11. Shakespeare
    Chapter 12. The Incredible Edgar Allan Poe
    Chapter 13. Heracles and Homer
    Chapter 14. The Brain that Kills the Heart: Death in a James Joyce Story

    Section 4: Putting Things to Work
    Chapter 15. Using the DSM
    Epilogue: A License to Make Literary Diagnoses