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.

Click here to buy the book through Barnes and Noble

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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.

Click here to buy the book through Amazon

Or click here to explore more books on personality disorders


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