TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Quiz on Major Depressive Disorder
September 17, 2012
What are the advantages of adjunctive benzodiazepine therapy in comorbid depression and anxiety? Which therapy has the strongest evidence base for treating patients with late-life depression? These and more in this quiz.
Borderline Personality Disorder Quiz
July 9, 2012
Are patients with borderline personality disorder at a significantly increased risk for suicide when in the angry victim state? This question and more in this quiz.
Alan A. Stone, MD
, October 9, 2009
Baron Cohen’s true comic gift is his ability to be completely offensive to his victims without offending his audience. Here it is worth remembering Freud’s theory: it is the wit of the jokester that gets the eruption of the id past the superego.
Psychiatrist on the Road: Encounters in Healing and Healthcare
Reviewed by Deirdre C. Neilen, PhD
, September 1, 2009
After 18 years as a senior clinical psychiatrist at a New England inner-city mental health clinic, Dr Lawrence Climo was understandably surprised and saddened when he was given 2 weeks’ notice that his services were no longer needed. Financial constraints meant the clinic was replacing him with a nurse. Although his wife told him it was an opportunity, he remembers thinking that health care reform made him feel that his professional skills were “almost irrelevant or at least unmarketable.”
Textbook of Violence Assessment and Management
Hal S. Wortzel, MD
, June 4, 2009
The foreword to the Textbook of Violence Assessment and Management promptly reminds readers that the mental health system has been invested in the prediction and prevention of violence since its inception. In a field dedicated to promoting wellness via the management of cognition, emotion, and behavior, violent thoughts, feelings, and actions are of primary concern.
Alexandra N. Helper, MD
, June 3, 2009
From this book’s title, iBrain, I expected to learn about the positive impact of the computer world on the ever-evolving brain. I was in for a surprise. iBrain is a nuanced account of brain anatomy and function, brain plasticity, the impact—good and bad—of the Internet and Web access on the brain, and how to have a healthy brain and life in the face of our technological world. The book is written by psychiatrist-neuroscientist Gary Small, MD, director of the Memory and Aging Research Center at UCLA, and his wife, Gigi Vorgan, a film and television actor and writer. Small and Vorgan have a linear, easy-to-understand writing style that includes entertaining and educational case vignettes.
The Insanity Offense
Kenneth J. Weiss, MD
, June 1, 2009
Make no mistake: Dr Torrey is on the side of the patient. He is enraged by the plight of the seriously mentally ill in the postinstitutional era, and he takes aim at a troika of villains—deinstitutionalization, the civil liberties bar, and the antipsychiatry movement. These 20th-century forces have conspired to relegate citizens with mental illness to a deplorable state of neglect that puts us all at risk. The Insanity Offense threads a needle of making us fear the violent mentally ill without stigmatizing them as a group.
Woody Allen and Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona
Alan A. Stone, MD
, May 7, 2009
When Woody Allen was shooting his latest film, Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, in Oviedo, Spain, he got the sad news that Ingmar Bergman, the filmmaker he most admired, had died. Allen, who has been worrying out loud about dying his entire life, wrote a wry and thoughtful appreciation of Bergman, the “great cinematic poet of mortality,” for The New York Times. He recalled Bergman’s classic black-and-white film, The Seven Seals, in which the Knight, returning from the Crusades and finding the Plague, has a chess match with Death in an attempt to prolong his own
Reviewed by Chase Hanson Bourke and Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD
, February 3, 2009
Book Review:What one thing could we do to improve our relationships, our work, and the way we learn? According to Dr Medina, we should make friends with our brains and learn to work with them, not against them. In Brain Rules, Medina outlines 12 practical ideas to help acquaint us with the ways our brains function and the ways we can engage positively as individuals and as a society.
In the Valley of Elah
Alan A. Stone, MD
, October 1, 2008
In the Valley of Elah is an improvised explosive device that writer-director Paul Haggis has set to go off in the hearts and minds of Americans who still support the war in Iraq. Haggis, who earned an Oscar (Best Picture and Screenplay) for Crash, has aimed his second film at the hardworking, churchgoing, flag-flying, decent Americans who cannot imagine that the country they love would engage in an unjust war.
The Bipolar Disorder Answer Book: Answers to More than 275 of Your Most Pressing Questions
by Charles Atkins, MD; Naperville, Ill: Sourcebooks, 2007.
306 pages • $16.95 (softcover)
Reviewed by Linda C. Schaffer, MD and Charles B. Schaffer, MD
, July 1, 2008
Education is a cornerstone for the effective treatment of bipolar disorder. The Bipolar Disorder Answer Book is a recent addition to the resources available for patients and their families. Each of the newly emerging self-help books offers different perspectives and emphasis. This book sets out to cover a broad range of relevant topics. Although it begins with the usual discussion of diagnosis and treatment, it quickly moves on to specific issues, such as securing care (both outpatient and inpatient), relapse prevention, comorbid illnesses, “survival tips” for friends and family, insurance coverage, and disability resources.
Doing Psychiatry Wrong: A Critical and Prescriptive Look at a Faltering Profession
S. Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH
, June 1, 2008
Psychiatry has gone wrong by being too symptom-focused, too brain-oriented, and riddled with misdiagnoses. It should go back to seeking the "meaning" of things in patients' subjective experiences. This is the main theme of this short polemic based on case studies. The author selectively cites studies or opinions to make his point rather than trying to get at the truth by offering other perspectives. As George Orwell pointed out, books are of 2 types: those that seek to justify an opinion and those that seek the truth.
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