Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: Mental Disorders (DSM-1)

Throughout all my research for the upcoming project for this class, I found myself interested in reading the old editions of the DSM and seeing what they have to say about schizophrenia and spectrum disorders and then comparing it to the more current DSM-5. However, I ran into a bit of trouble when trying to find copies. Simpson Library has an available version of the DSM-5, in print only, yet there doesn’t appear to be any other versions available, physical or digital, without paying for the text of requesting through an interlibrary loan. Since I was specifically looking for the original print of the DSM-1 from 1952, I figured it would be a resource readily available for scholars of all backgrounds.

I was wrong.

The DSM-1 is one of the hardest texts I have ever tried to find. After the library proved to be a bust, I tried the APA’s website, hoping they would have some resources since they were the ones to publish the original text back in 1952. Psychiatry Online actually has a DSM Library that contains each version of the DSM to date, yet like most scholarly resources you must login through an institution or pay to view them. And sadly UMW does not subscribe to this service and I refuse to pay an astronomical fee just to view a single section of an outdated text.

Desperate, I took to Google as a last resort. It turns out Google was the perfect place to look, because I found a PDF version, free, which I quickly downloaded and now have readily available in my personal Google Drive on the offhand chance the free PDF gets taken down. The PDF is fully searchable and interactive, which means you can click on the contents and be taken directly to the corresponding page.

As I stated above, I wish to look at the DSM-1 and to get an understanding of the diagnosis John Forbes Nash Jr. faced in the late 1950s when he was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia. From my research there has been debate on whether or not he had schizophrenia, or another spectrum disorder, namely Aspergers. This is do to the DSM-1 being the first attempt to categorize mental disorders. This makes the DSM-1 a valuable resource in understanding how people were officially categorized and diagnosed by the APA’s standards. While I plan to use it to learn more about schizophrenia, anyone else in this class could use it to learn more about whatever topic they are focusing on.

I wanted to post this as my resource for the week since I believe it to be an interesting source as well as a valuable source of information for anyone else focusing on mental disorders with an emphasis on the 1950s. The DSM-1 defines how people thought about mental disorders at that time, and I wanted to make it available not only to myself, but to everyone else as well.

The version in my Google Drive can be found here: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: Mental Disorders (1952).

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: Mental Disorders: 1st ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1952.

Society’s Impact on Mental Health

More often then not, society has a pretty large impact upon the mental health of people. Societal expectations have become so influential to the mind, those under its effect can completely change their ways of living; such as appearance, diet, and attitude.

For instance; every year, there is always a new beauty standard/fashion trend, etc. that people constantly aim to keep up with and achieve.

What are some societal standards that you think could impact one’s mental health?

Proposal – Sandra Day O’Connor

Carson Berrier: Proposal Sandra Day O’Connor is one of the most famous faces of women’s history—the first woman to be nominated and appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981. Retiring in 2006, O’Connor served on the Supreme Court for many years, making and ruling decisions that would impact the country for years to follow. Nominated […]

Elizabeth Packard

Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard was one of the women whose first hand account we read this week. Her description of her treatment by her husband and experience in the asylum was one that stuck out to me the most. I found it shocking the level of indifference and anger her husband had towards her – at least according to her account. I think her experience is one that should be more well known when studying not only women in asylums but also women’s treatment and gender roles in the 19th century. This is her wikipedia page that provides more general information about her.

image via Wikipedia


Women in 19th Century Asylums

A praying woman, who is suffering with catalepsy caused by hysteria ( Image: Albert Londe/News Dog Media)


I found some vintage images of women in 19th century asylums that demonstrate what Hysterical and Anorexic patients looked like back then. Since we are learning about women in asylums this week, I thought that some cool visuals would be an interesting contribution.

PTSD in Vietnam Veterans

Article states the as many as 250,000 veterans of the Vietnam War suffer from symptoms of PTSD today. Many veterans did not get adequate help after they returned home in part due to the fact that PTSD was not even recognized as a mental disorder by the Department of Veterans Affairs until 1980. Another aggravating factor was that Vietnam veterans were often ridiculed upon arriving home, unlike previous wars. https://www.hillandponton.com/ptsd-and-vietnam-veterans/

Spectrum 10k project paused

This is kind of a short article, but it basically talks about how the spectrum 10k Autism project has been paused due to backlash. People were worried about the project’s intentions and thought they might be trying to make a cure for Autism, so the project kept receiving backlash until it was finally paused. https://newsnationusa.com/news/health/autism-latest-new-nationwide-project-spectrum-10k-paused-due-to-backlash/