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.

Click here to buy the book at Amazon

Or click here to explore the Personality Disorders section at Mental Health Books

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.

Click here to buy The Divided Self at Amazon

Overcoming Social Anxiety And Shyness Workbook

October 30, 2008

overcoming social anxiety and shyness book

Overcoming Social Anxiety And Shyness, A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques, is available to buy through Mental Health Books.

Although a consultant clinical psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Gillian Butler has written this book with sufferers in mind, and offers clearly-written and effective strategies for overcoming such conditions as panic disorder, chronic phobias, depression and anxiety. It is an empowering workbook for anyone who has ever felt powerless and paralysed by their chronic fear and lack of confidence.

The first part of the book examines the history of social anxiety, and analysis of what actually happens when social anxiety strikes. Part Two then offers a complete and comprehensive practical guide rooted in CBT, intended to effectively manage these fears and change patterns of negative thinking. Much of this is centered around the reduction of self-consciousness, which of course is something that many of us struggle with. The third and final part of the book offers additional information on relaxation techniques, dealing with the legacy of childhood bullying, and much more besides.

Those of us looking for a practical and commonsense approach to overcoming generalized and more specific anxiety disorders will benefit greatly from this book. It is also recommended reading for those with a wider interest in human and social behaviors.

Click here to order your copy through Amazon

Or click here to explore the Anxiety section at Mental Health Books

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October 5, 2008

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