The Four Domains of Mental Illness: An Alternative to the DSM-5, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Four Domains of Mental Illness

An Alternative to the DSM-5, 1st Edition

By Rene J. Muller


358 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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The Four Domains of Mental Illness presents an authentic and valid alternative to the DSM-5, which author René J. Muller argues has resulted in many patients being incorrectly diagnosed and wrongly medicated. Dr. Muller points out where the DSM-5 is mistaken and offers a guide to diagnosis based on the psychobiology of psychiatrist Adolf Meyer and the insights of existential philosophy and psychiatry. His model identifies the phenomena of the mental illnesses that clinicians most often see, which are characterized by identifying their structure, or partial structure. Using the FDMI approach, clinicians can grasp how each mental illness is an aberration of Martin Heidegger’s being-in-the-world.


"One of the vexing ‘realities’ of working in the mental health professions is trying to understand the complicated symptom profiles of actual persons in stark contrast to the clearly demarcated syndromes of the official classification systems. Inspired by great psychopathologists of the past—Jaspers, Meyer, and McHugh—René J. Muller wrestles with this contrast directly. He systematizes our prevailing classifications and offers an enlightening perspective on the interaction between personhood and psychiatric distress."

Peter Zachar, PhD, professor of psychology, Auburn University Montgomery

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments PART I: WHERE PSYCHIATRY HAS BEEN, NEEDS TO GO, AND HOW TO GET THERE 1. Why Psychiatry Needs Another Way to Classify and Diagnose the Pathological Alterations in Mental Life 2. The Initial Promises of Biological Psychiatry Do Not Look So Promising Now 3. An Approach to Diagnosing Mental Illness Based on the Psychobiology of Adolf Meyer 4. To Understand, To Explain, to Know What Mental Illness Is 5. The Four Domains of Mental Illness PART II: CLASSIFIFYING AND DIAGNOSING MENTAL ILLNESS 6. The Anxiety Spectrum 7. The Depression Spectrum 8. The Dissociation Spectrum 9. The Psychosis Spectrum 10. Aberrant Personality Styles 11. Ceding Control over Alcohol, Drugs, Food, Sex, the Body’s Integument, Gambling and the Itch to Steal 12. Altered Mental States Induced by a Medical Condition or Medical Disease 13. Schizophrenia 14. Four Schizophrenic Patients, Four Different Schizophrenias 15. Diagnosing the Heterogeneous Illness/Disease Known as Schizophrenia 16. Manic-Depression 17. Using the FDMI: Diagnosis and Treatment of a Man With 2nd Domain Avoidant Personality Style, and 1st Domain Anxiety, Dysthymia and Pathological Anger Appendices: A-D A. Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenological Method, William James’s Pragmatism and the Question of Validity for the FDMI and the DSM-5 B. The Putative Subtypes of Schizophrenia C. Schizoaffective Disorder: An Improbable Phenomenon D. Identifying Mass Killers Before They Strike References Index

About the Author

René J. Muller, PhD, is the author of Psych ER: Psychiatric Patients Come to the Emergency Room and Doing Psychiatry Wrong: A Critical and Prescriptive Look at a Faltering Profession. He has been a regular contributor to Psychiatric Times, a peer reviewer for the annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress, and is a review editor for The Humanistic Psychologist. Dr. Muller has evaluated over 3,000 patients in the emergency rooms at Union Memorial Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He has a PhD from Johns Hopkins University and an MA from Duquesne University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Existential