Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction

Psychiatry: A Very Short IntroductionAn interesting study into what psychiatry is, what it isn t, and what the trends are. I spent 2 months in psychiatry as a post graduate and I felt I learned alot from the book It obviously wont teach you psychiatry but you ll learn alot how the specialty came to being, its relation with other Psych s, what it really is, what its role, and bits of history on madhouses and assylums, and the reasons behind deinstitutionalization and the learn towards community care Very useful overview on Psychiatry I d recommend reading VSI to Madness if you re interested in disorders themselves I havent read VSI to Schizophrenia but thought it had good reviews. This is a brief but excellent overview of psychiatry It starts by defining psychiatry, explaining how it is influenced by the illnesses it treats and the treatments available, and explaining the main mental psychoses, neuroses and personality disorders It then outlines the history of psychiatry, from its origins in the first public madhouses to the first asylums, which started well but got overcrowded, to the shift to smaller psychiatric units in larger hospitals and community care All these changes were influenced not only by discoveries of effective treatments but also by social attitudes The fourth chapter describes the types, effectiveness and criticisms of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy The book then goes on to criticisms of psychiatry, including ethical issues like whether it infringes the human right to be different, its impact on the legal system, and its expansion to questionable diagnoses like oppositional defiant disorder Finally, the last chapter makes predictions for psychiatry in the 21st century.As a medical student I expect to receive training on the practical aspects of psychiatry in the near future, so I was delighted that this book covered the history of the profession, providing the background for my future education and practice I ve never realised how much the current definition and scope of psychiatry is moulded by its past, which in turn was influenced by changing cultures and societal attitudes In fact psychiatry is defined by culture, as what is considered abnormal can only be understood in the context of what is culturally normal As Tom Burns tells us, this raises the ethical issue of whether normal healthy people are forced to think they are abnormal, or even forced into treatment, just because they are not like the rest of society.Another ethical issue that I found interesting was what psychiatry should treat Burns explains that psychiatrists are partly influenced by patients Patients seek help when they find their symptoms unacceptable As the stigma of being diagnosed with a psychiatric illness decreases and stoic perseverance is appreciated less, psychiatrists are being called to treat people in circumstances where previously alternative forms of coping would have sufficed Hw do we decide who needs psychiatric help The Introduction says that mental illnesses involve experiences familiar to all of us such as depression or disinhibition, with the additional criteria that an important threshold has been crossed How do we define this threshold Do we even bother to identify it And if we don t, are we undermining the value of personal resilience Or do we just ignore the ethical debate, and say argue that as long as people are helped, it doesn t matter who helps them As someone who is interested in a career in psychiatry, I found it interesting that nurses and medical social workers are increasingly able to handle psychiatric illnesses Even as patients seek out psychiatric help, the doctor s role may evolve or even diminish in the future, and that is definitely something to consider for career planning.I also found the following passage helpful.The qualities of a good therapist transcend the different schools of thought The essential ingredients are accurate empathy the therapist must really understand what the patient is going through, it is not enough just to feel sorry for them , unconditional regard the therapist has to like and respect the patient, you can t do therapy with someone you really dislike , and non possessive warmth the therapist must be able to show warmth without making the patient feel beholden to them These insights are particularly useful in psychiatric practice Matching patients and therapists really does matter not all of us can get on with everyone To work with violent or sexual offenders, for instance, requires a particularly tolerant and forgiving individual.Accurate empathy, unconditional regard, and non possessive warmth I couldn t have put it clearer myself However much the face of Psychiatry changes, the qualities that make one not just a good doctor, but a good psychiatrist, never change. Very excellent and brief introduction It Covers all the important aspects of psychiatry in an easy to understand style I would suggest it to anyone interested or working in a field related to the Psych world. It s a short but good introduction to psychiatry for novices It includes chapters on the relationship between psychiatry and psychoanalysis and psychiatry and psychotherapy The history of psychiatry is presented dispassionately with the good and the bad I ve always wondered what is the meaning of what the psychiatric patients are saying and I couldn t find an answer to this question The literature I have read focuses on what and not on why From this book, I have found that Karl Jaspers asked the same question and has some answers in his 1913 book General Psychopathology Unfortunately, I could not find this old book in electronic format If you want to deepen your knowledge, there are some recommended readings for each chapter in the concluding section Further reading. The book is short, to the point and provides a good overview for not too much reading effort The author presents a comprehensive history of psychiatry and explains basics, such as the difference between neurotic and psychotic He adds that mental illness is still defined by its impact on the person s sense of self and on his or her closest relationships As Freud put it, his goal was to enable people to work and love.A recurring message in the book is that psychiatry isn t just another branch of medicine People promote this idea with the aim of raising the status of the psychiatry profession and reducing the stigma of mental illness it s nobody s fault But, the author concludes, the mind is not the same as the brain Psychiatry isn t just another branch of medicine When people can choose, they usually want a mixture of medicine and therapy. Psychiatry Is Increasingly A Part Of Everyday Life The Growing Number Of Patients Being Diagnosed With Depression, ADD, Alcoholism, And Other Illnesses Mean That Few People Are Not Touched By It This Book Provides A Valuable And Comprehensible Introduction To The Subject It Starts With The History Of Its Development As A Scientific Field, Including The Identification Of Major Mental Illnesses, The Rise And Fall Of The Asylum System, And The Flourishing Of Psychoanalysis And Other Psychotherapies More Than Any Other Branch Of Medicine, Psychiatry Has Been Attacked And Criticized There Is A Long List Of Perceived Horrors Patient Abuse, Bizarre Medical Experiments, Mind Control By Evil Governments, Coercion By Maniacal Hypnotists Modern Psychiatry Brings With It New Controversies, Such As The Perceived Over Prescription Of Antidepressants And Behavior Modifiers For Children And Teens, Or Unchecked Marketing Power Of Drug Companies This Book Does Not Draw Conclusions On These Issues, But Rather Provides The Reader With A Clear Understanding Of What Psychiatry Is, And What It Does, So That They Can Draw Their Own It Is A Great Reference For Anyone With An Interest In Mental Illness And Its Treatment, Students Of Psychiatry, Medicine, Psychology, And History Of Science, And Health Professionals Marvelous read The author did a great job of breaking down the field, from its history to its dilemmas A discipline destined to controversy from its very conception but doing the best it can with the task it was given History will tell how we will take psychiatry in this century, and hopefully avoid past mistakes Neuroscience will surely make us able to better treat the mentally ill, but its ethical ramifications will stay, and it s up to us as a society to deal with them and dependent on the philosophy our culture adapts. Any large scale genetic screening to avoid psychiatric disorders would inevitably mean a steady reduction in the rich variety of human behaviour How happy would be with that a world without Van Gogh or without Schumann How you d tell your grandma version of Psychiatry Very well structured Presents both societal and clinical perspectives Rarely passes judgment and gives ample room to form individual opinions on the subject Great read

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  • Paperback
  • 146 pages
  • Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction
  • Tom Burns
  • English
  • 20 February 2018
  • 9780192807274

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