From Kirkus Reviews
This medical book, by members of the American Psychiatric Association, is a companion to the latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard reference for diagnosis and treatment used by psychologists and psychiatrists. It follows the DSM-5’s structure, but presents its material in a language and format that can be easily followed by readers with no psychiatric training, such as concerned friends or parents who may want to understand their choices after a child’s diagnosis. The book offers an explanation of each condition, along with symptoms, prognoses, and possible treatment plans. In many cases, the description is accompanied by a short case study of someone who’s undergone treatment for the disorder, which gives a human face to a generic list of symptoms and serves as an example for possible management. Each section concludes with a bulleted list of the key points addressed in each chapter, and many include further resources, such as a chart that compares the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease with the normal effects of aging. Overall, the book maintains a serious but not catastrophic tone, from the opening line of the preface (“More than 450 million people worldwide, and over 61 million adults and over 7 million children in the United States, live with a mental disorder at some point in their lives”) to appendices that detail common forms of psychotherapy and medications. It acknowledges the impact of these disorders and the need for appropriate treatment while also reminding readers that such conditions are common and that options are available. An annotated list of organizations that offer support, education, and guidance to different types of patients and their friends and families further emphasizes this theme.
A well-organized, nontechnical overview of recognized psychiatric disorders and methods for treating them.
The DSM-5 sounds mysterious or technical to many people. This guide dissolves the mystery and bridges gaps between other books on mental illness by explaining psychiatric diagnoses in readily understandable terms. It presents symptoms and discusses treatment options. It will be helpful not just to mental health professionals, but to individuals and families affected by mental illness and the general public.--Mary Giliberti, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness The new Guide to DSM-5, Understanding Mental Disorders is a wonderful primer on mental health conditions. It includes clear descriptions of disorders, patient vignettes, and easy to understand descriptions of treatment options. The personal stories describe how the condition might appear in an affected individual. This outstanding resource can enhance patient and family participation in treatment and extend the conversation about best strategies for health and wellbeing. --Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Education, Director of Residency Training, Columbia University Medical Center
Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5 is a valuable resource for helping patients and families understand and live successfully with the mental disorders that affect so many of us and our families. Based on the recently revised, authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders, DSM-5, Understanding Mental Disorders is written in clear and accessible language with patient resources and personal experiences that can help those who are struggling get scientifically credible care. Developed by an outstanding Editorial Advisory Board of mental health professionals, Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5 sets a new standard for reliable, wise guidance for patients and those who love them.--Paul Summergrad, M.D., Dr. Frances S. Arkin Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Tufts Medical Center, Chairman, Interim President and CEO, Tufts Medical Center Physicians Organization, President, American Psychiatric Association Understanding Mental Disorders is a unique resource that serves as a tool for communication between mental health professionals, patients, and families. It translates information from DSM-5 into simple language that can empower those who need mental health care to understand disorders and seek help. It educates in a way that allows patients to take an active role in their care. --Renee Binder, M.D., Professor and Director Psychiatry and Law Program, Associate Dean Academic Affairs, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, President-Elect, American Psychiatric Association