OCD: Beyond Reasonable Doubt

December 15, 2008

ocd book

Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Reasoning Processes in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Related Disorders, is available to buy at The Potential Shop.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has most usually been classed as an anxiety disorder, but there is increasing evidence that perhaps it is schizotypal in nature, ie a belief disorder. Speaking from personal experience as some one who has been diagnosed as schizotypal, the OCD symptoms I have certainly seem consistent with this.

This book suggests that reasoning and logical thinking should be the cornerstone of effective treatment for OCD. It evaluates theoretical, experimental, clinical and treatment aspects of reasoning research, and provides case studies and historical data to back up its assertions. Though the book is clinical in nature and written for clinicians, it is recommended for the lay person and for patients too, simply because there are so few quality books on schizotypal disorder and its relationship to anxiety disorders.

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Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self

December 8, 2008

depersonalization disorder book

Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self, is available to buy at Mental Health Books.

The experience of depersonalization disorder has been described by many sufferers and clinicians as almost akin to “living in a dream”. Symptoms include a sense of going through life without actually experiencing it, and a sense of detachment from body, life and reality. Often this is onset by long-term emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse.

This book offers a comprehensive resource for the disorder, for patients, loved ones and mental health professionals alike. It presents an overview of the latest research, as well as retrospective perspectives on how “depersonalization” has been represented in a historical context. It does not offer a cure, but it does cover possible treatment solutions, and practical tips on how to maximize life experiences despite feeling detached from the process.

Perceived by many to be the first truly comprehensive book written exclusively about depersonalization in English, this book is regarded both as a milestone in psychiatric literature, and an excellent user handbook and resource.

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Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life

November 27, 2008

painfully shy social anxiety book

Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life, is available to buy at The Potential Shop.

It is estimated that over 17 million Americans suffer from social anxiety, and (including myself) a fair few foreigners too. In this book Drs. Barbara and Gregory Markway offer insight into the disorder, analysis of up-to-date research, and simple practical exercises aimed at building the confidence of the sufferer.

Many people with social anxiety disorder will avoid social interaction at all costs, overwhelmed by both their physical and psychological aversion to social situations. Painfully Shy offers step-by-step exercises aimed at reducing fear, strategies for improving confidence, and ultimately reaching the goal of feeling at ease in a social environment. The book draws on case histories of the doctors’ own patients, as well as Barbara Markway’s personal experience of social anxiety disorder. Both doctors are clinical psychologists specializing in this field.

“The title of this book caught my eye because that’s what I always thought of myself as…I found this answered many of the questions I had.”

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Bipolar Disorder – The Ultimate Guide

November 17, 2008

bipolar disorder the ultimate guide

Bipolar Disorder – The Ultimate Guide, written by Sarah Owen and Amanda Saunders, is available to buy at Mental Health Books.

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, (also known as manic depression), then this book is an invaluable resource. Sarah Owen and Amanda Saunders are not doctors; they are health journalists and cousins in a family affected by bipolar disorder. Here they present a resource book full of compassion, sensitivity, and up-to-the-minute factual information.

The book has a very accessible question and answer format, and is a comprehensive guide addressing every question that a patient or loved one might have of the disorder. It addresses symptom recognition, offers helpful techniques on how to keep this mood disorder under control, and advice about how to deal with stigma in a social and a working environment. It also offers up-to-date research findings, drawing on opinions from a broad range of experts, individual case studies, and the authors’ own personal experience from within their close family. The book is a wealth of information and insight that is intended to empower the individual and those closest to them, and offers a comprehensive list of support organizations related to the disorder.

“I wish that this superb book had been around when I was growing up with a father with bipolar. It is packed with practical advice for those with the condition and their families on every aspect of the illness – and some astonishing first-hand accounts. It will provide a huge amount of comfort – and help.” – Martin Townsend, editor of the Sunday Express.

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Coping with Schizophrenia: A Guide for Patients, Families and Caregivers Coping with Schizophrenia: A Guide for Patients, Families and Caregivers

November 14, 2008

coping with schizophrenia

Coping with Schizophrenia: A Guide for Patients, Families and Caregivers is available to buy at Mental Health Books.

This book offers a guide to patients on the road to recovery, with the involvement of family members and caregivers. It offers empowerment and hope to those concerned, and addresses the many troubling obstacles that the diagnosed schizophrenic has to overcome in daily life, such as social isolation and chronic depression, as well as the more recognizably “schizophrenic” attributes such as delusions, hallucinations and hearing voices.

The book’s aim is to combine optimism and hope with realism and practicality, offering insight and sensitivity towards this difficult condition. As with many of the “practical guide” books in mental health, it draws heavily from cognitive therapy, extolling the virtues of crisis management, maintenance and responsibility. The book offers many case studies to provide examples of how the techniques described by Jones and Hayward can be put to practical use.

“This is an excellent [book] and will make a very significant contribution to helping those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The book is extremely well written and achieves the difficult feat of combining optimism with realism.”
–Dr. David R. Hemsley, Professor of Abnormal Psychology, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Institute of Psychiatry, King s College London, UK.

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The Mindful Way Through Depression

November 10, 2008

the mindful way through depression

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness is available to buy through Mental Health Books.

Mindfulness is another word for consciousness or awareness, and is a technique increasingly used by psychotherapists to help enable sufferers to take greater control over their internal thought processes. The technique has its background in Buddhism and meditative practice.

In this book, four world-renowned experts on mindfulness collaborate to share their wisdom in mindfulness as an effective tool for overcoming depression, anxiety and related psychological disorders. It brings an excellent balance between clinical and meditative practice, and is presented in comprehensible language for the lay person as well as the professional. This is an invaluable resource not only for depression sufferers, but for anyone familiar with patterns of negativity, anxiety and low self-esteem. It is also suitable for those who feel high levels of self-consciousness, but with insufficient control over the process. Mindfulness is helping me concentrate right now as I write this, and I probably couldn’t give it any better endorsement than that.

‘A revolutionary treatment approach. For depression sufferers, this is a truly useful guide to achieving emotional balance. For mental health professionals, it should be mandatory reading. I recommend this book and companion CD most highly.’ – Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

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Or click here to explore the depression category at Mental Health Books

ADHD: Gut And Psychology Syndrome

November 7, 2008

gut and psychology syndrome

Gut And Psychology Syndrome, a book with a broad spectrum but mainly aimed at sufferers of ADHD, is available to buy from Mental Health Books.

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is a medical doctor and nutritionist. She is also the mother of a child with learning disabilities, and has devoted much of her career to understanding the relationship between various medical and psychological disorders, and human diet and nutrition. In this book she addresses not only ADD/ADHD, but also dyslexia, dyspraxia, autistic spectrum disorders and even schizophrenia. She believes that the relationship between diet and these disorders is very strong, and sets out to encourage good dietary habits for both children and adult sufferers. Much of her work is devoted to advising parents whose children have one of the above conditions.

A book for both parents and diagnosed adults alike, Dr Campbell-McBride shares her knowledge and experience as one of the foremost authorities in her field.

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Sky Is Falling: Understanding and Coping with Phobias, Panic and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

November 3, 2008

anxiety phobias OCD book

Sky Is Falling: Understanding and Coping with Phobias, Panic and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, is available to buy through The Potential Shop.

It is estimated that between 14-20 million Americans suffer from some sort of anxiety or panic disorder (and including myself, more than a few foreigners too). Many lives are consumed with phobias and irrational fears, and many lives are blighted as a result. In this book Dr Raeann Dumont suggests that these fears develop as a result of magical thinking, a process by which conclusions develop without the presence of a rational thought process. This book presents examples through case studies, such as a woman experiencing panic attacks in public places, a man whose intense phobias ended his marriage and resulted in his alcoholism, and a young boy who refuses food due to a phobia of being poisoned. The doctor offers cognitive therapy and self-help techniques as practical guidance for recognizing irrational thought processes, and working towards overcoming them.

This book is an invaluable resource to sufferers, their families and therapists alike. Those with a more general interest in CBT might also find it useful.

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The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook

October 30, 2008

dissociative identity disorder book

The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook, written by Deborah Bray Haddock, is available to buy at Mental Health Books.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a personality disorder characterized by a fragmentation of self, in which the individual develops a number of distinct identities and personalities, each with it’s own pattern of behavior and interaction with the environment. This book is written as a bridge between the client, the therapist, family and friends, and is an attempt to demystify the disorder. Haddock looks into the lives of people with DID, to illustrate the struggles that they face and the social myths about the disorder that need to be overcome. (Many still refer to it as Multiple Personality Disorder).

The book begins with an overview of the diagnostic criteria (which are stricter than I thought), before moving on to examine the importance of childhood experiences and memories. Drawing on the theories of childhood developmental experts such as Piaget and Bowlby, Haddock analyses ways in which key deficits at crucial ages could lead to the onset of the disorder. Specific “symptoms” include a chaotic lifestyle, anxiety and depression, mood swings and amnesia. The author also investigates similarities with schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder, especially instances of hearing voices or the client’s belief that their thoughts can be controlled by others.

The latter chapters focus more on treatment techniques, and offer insights to patients and their families as well as therapists and clinicians. The range of theories and therapeutic techniques discussed is very impressive, and gives patients and families a wealth of information to draw from. I cannot underestimate the importance of a client having a practical and working knowledge of where the therapist is coming from, and what his or her own theoretical background is.

Overall, this book is probably the best and most thorough resource available for a much-maligned and misunderstood disorder.

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RD Laing: The Divided Self

October 30, 2008

rd laing the divided self

The Divided Self, the seminal work by eminent Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing, is available to buy at Amazon.

Laing is considered by many to be a founding figure in the anti-psychiatry movement. In this book he postulates that the development of a unified sense of self is essential in cultivating and maintaining a relationship with the outside world. This “ontological security” provides us with the belief that the world is a stable place in which to live, and affirmative of our choice to live there. The “ontologically insecure” person, such as a schizophrenic or psychotic individual, has failed to develop this unity of self, from birth onwards through adolescence and into adult life. It is this insecurity, Laing believed, that distorts the individual’s relationship with the world, to the extent that there is no defence against him or her being “acted on”, or perceived in any way. What is needed, Laing argues, is greater understanding of the gestures and communications of those whom society wrongly ignores and demonises as “mad”.

This book is essential reading for anyone cast with a psychiatric label, or their carers to provide a deeper understanding of what is going on. It is also a great place to start for anyone interested in existentialism, and it’s impact on psychiatry, anti-psychiatry, and psychiatric diagnosis.

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