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Where There Is No Psychiatrist: A Mental Health Care Manual (Books Beyond Words) Paperback – January 1, 2003

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Books Beyond Words
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: RCPsych Publications; 1 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901242757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901242751
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book is designed primarily for community health professionals in developing nations. As a longtime owner of Where There is No Doctor, I bought this book hoping it would be as useful and enlightening as "Doctor" was, not only for international situations but even for backcountry situations here in the U.S., or if you are poor and don't have access to medical care here in America.

Physical illness is understood and treated much more readily in international aid and even domestic crises. Most people no matter the culture are much more comfortable dealing with the physically injured than the mentally/emotionally/spiritually injured. People shy away from the mentally ill, not knowing what to do.
Having encountered mentally ill people while in Nigeria in 1996 as well as in various cities in the U.S., I wondered what I might be able to learn by reading this book.

The book begins with an overview of mental illness, including disorders common to all cultures: depression and anxiety, psychoses, special issues with the elderly and children, causation and cultural factors. It then goes on to assessment of a patient, interviews and diagnosis. Treatment options follow, focusing on drug treatments and counseling ("talking treatments").

The next section goes into more depth on clinical problems, such as addressing troublesome behaviors such as violence, aggression, confusion, hearing voices, suicidal tendencies, seizures and fits, postpartum issues, and mental illness among the elderly.
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I am a family phyician who teaches introductory Medical Psychology at Hope Africa Medical School in Burundi. This is an excellent introductory book for medical students, nursing students and for others who might deal with mental illlness (social workers, village health workers, pastors). It gives general principles and symptoms and discusses what can cause them. Short case vinettes are often presented. It is very easy for someone who is not familiar with mental illness and substance abuse to understand it, even if their first language is not English. My students read the book, practice interviewing each other and understand it. Difficult subjects like the difference between delerium and dementia are also presented. One chapter deals with mental health issues in various groups like prisoners, refugees, homeless etc. This chapter really brings things home to them and covers things that much larger psychiatric texts may skip. It is socially and clinically very revelant. It would be useful for anyone feeling unprepared to deal with mental illness. I hope that it will soon be translated into Spanish and French.
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I enjoyed learning from this book. It gave quick and well explained treatments in helping someone in an area that is not easily accessible by transport. The amount of information in this book is fantastic, too much to mention here, but does have images and covers over 30 clinical problems to do with mental illness, violence, trauma & loss, physical illnesses, over 150 case studies with both physical and mental illness combined, diagnosis and treatments and so much more.
A great tool to have in remote areas where there may be no Dr on hand or just to have in the home.
Questions are asked and answers given so the reader has a good understanding. Sections are numbered for quick reference and enough material on each problem is presented in short sections. This is a very handy book to have and is an educational book of tools.
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