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Depression has been a scourge of mankind since the dawn of ages. Vivid images from historical and religious texts describe sufferers of the illness we now know as depression. An equal opportunity illness, it exempts no one based on race, sex, creed, religion, social status, or nation of origin. It affects one in five of us and its potentially lethal outcome--suicide--is the third leading cause of death among American teenagers. What is this illness that costs us $44 billion each year? What does it look like? Is it moodiness? Is it the result of a character flaw? Can we just snap out of it?. Understanding Depression explores the reality of the illness from the author's twin perspectives as a psychiatrist and as a family member who experienced the tragedy of depression first hand. Using examples from her practice, the author discusses the different types of depression, the kinds of people at risk, and the risk factors of suicide. In understandable terms the book looks at the way the brain works and how the body communicates with it, including recent discoveries about how the process fails in depression. The book mirrors the author's belief that understanding depression is only half the battle. Taking personal responsibility for fighting the beast is equally important. Treatment methods, discussed here, include various forms of psychotherapy, different classes of antidepressant medications, and the controversial subjects of shock treatment and involuntary treatment. Understanding Depression also offers tips for fighting depression day by day. Finally, the book takes a look at the cutting-edge research that holds promise for better management of depression and at new weapons to combat it. Patricia Ainsworth is a psychiatrist in private practice and is an assistant professor (part time) in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
From a leading medical expert at Johns Hopkins, here is an up-to-the-minute, definitive guide to what s known about depression and how it can be treated. Around ten percent of North Americans suffer from depression at some point -- and more than half haven t even sought help. Now, Dr. Raymond DePaulo, one of the world s foremost authorities on depression, provides a sensitive, thorough, and reassuring book for sufferers from depression and those who care about them. This practical guide for individuals with depression and their families -- the only totally comprehensive book in the market -- shows readers how to identify the problem, then directs them to the various forms of treatment, including medications, psychotherapy, support groups, and exercise. It is one of the few books to discuss in depth manic depression, the bipolar form of depression. Dr. DePaulo discusses both mainstream (the latest medications and talk therapies) and alternative paths and reveals the truth about the dangerous fallacies that abound about depression. Comprehensive, compassionate, and grounded in the very latest research into brain chemistry, psychology, and medications, this is a definitive, landmark roadmap to one of the most devastating -- and common -- mental illnesses.
Straightforward and easy to read yet thorough and accurate, this book provides a complete overview of depression that describes the historical background of clinical depression, the various types of mood disorders, and their impact on the health and well-being of people and society. • Explains simply what depression is, what the causes are, what the symptoms look like, and what the best treatment options are • Provides up-to-date information based on current scholarly and clinical materials presented in a very clear and understandable presentation that is ideal for high school and undergraduate students as well as general readers
Depression is a major cause of morbidity throughout the world. This book brings together world leaders in research on depression, to discuss, for the first time, in an interdisciplinary setting, both classical and innovative ideas to understand this devastating disorder. It presents neurobiological, psychological, genetic and evolutionary models, with a particular emphasis on the mechanisms linking the brain to the endocrine and the immune systems, and thereforelinking depression to physical health.
To what extent do social factors such as stress cause physical diseases? How do psychological and social factors contribute to the healing process? The biopsychosocial model is an approach to medicine which stresses the importance of a holistic approach. It considers factors outside the biological process of illness when trying to understand health and disease. In this approach, a person's social context and psychological well-being are key factors in their illness and recovery, along with their thoughts, beliefs and emotions. Biopsychosocial Medicine examines the concept and the utility of this approach from its history to its application, and from its philosophical underpinnings to the barriers to its implementation. It is severely critical of the failure of modern medicine to treat the patient not the disease, and its neglect of psychological and social factors in the treatment of the ill. Focusing on chronic disabling ill health, this book takes the examplesof arthritis, cancer, diabetes, lower back pain, irritable bowel syndrome and depression to show how the biopsychosocial model can be used in practice. It questions why, even when the biopsychosocial approach has been proved to be more effective than traditional methods in overcoming these disorders, is not more routinely used, and how barriers to its implementation can be overcome. Controversial and challenging, Biopsychosocial Medicine will be essential reading for all those who feel the biomedical model is failing them and their patients. It will enable readers to understand the model and how it can be implemented, in order to enhance their confidence and success as health professionals.
Recent studies have found that one woman in five, and one man in ten, will suffer from depression or manic depression sometime during the course of their lives. This is a disturbing statistic, but there is hope, because more and more evidence has surfaced to indicate that many psychiatric disorders are biological diseases that can be successfully treated with medication. Most people, however, know little about these recent findings. They don't know how to tell if the depression they are suffering from is biological or not, nor what they can do to recover from it if it is. In Understanding Depression, eminent psychiatrists Donald Klein and Paul Wender offer a definitive guide to depressive illness--its causes, course, and symptoms. They clarify the difference between depression (which is a normal emotion) and biological depression (which is an illness), and include several self-rating tests with which readers can determine whether or not they should seek psychiatric evaluation to determine if they have a biological depressive illness. They describe the symptoms of biological depression, among them loss of energy, changes in eating habits, sleep disturbances, decreased sex drive, restlessness, poor concentration and indecisiveness, and increased use of intoxicants and drugs. And they paint a clear picture of how depressive illness can affect people's lives, using excerpts from patient histories to show the progress of each patient from the onset of depression to treatment and recovery. The authors also discuss the different types of treatment available, including antidepressant drugs, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychotherapy, and they examine the benefits and side effects of psychopharmacological drugs (including the new antidepressants, lithium, and the controversial Prozac), related disorders (such as panic attacks, atypical depression, seasonal affective disorder, and PMS), and how to get the right kind of help. Most victims of biological depression often fail to seek help, whether out of guilt or ignorance, and many are often misdiagnosed by physicians or psychotherapists who fail to recognize the symptoms of the illness. Understanding Depression seeks to make the public (both lay and medical) aware of the issues of biological depression, providing a highly informed and readable guide to this much misunderstood disease.
After nearly a year of debate, in March 2010, Congress passed and the president signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reform the U.S. health care system. The most significant social legislation since the civil rights legislation and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the bill’s passage has been met with great controversy. Political pundits, politicians, health care economists, and policy analysts have filled the airwaves and the lay press with their opinions, but little has been heard from those who have the most invested in health care delivery reform—patients and their doctors. Understanding Health Care Reform: Bridging the Gap Between Myth and Reality provides readers with the information to make informed decisions and to help counter the bias of political pundits and the influence of the for-profit health care industry. The author introduces readers to a group of dedicated doctors, administrators, and patients whose experiences illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the health care reform legislation. He also shares his own experiences as both a physician and a patient. The book puts the health care reform legislation in perspective by exploring ten critical areas: The private insurance industry Medicare and Medicaid The elimination of waste caused by overutilization, high administrative fees, and fraud Disease prevention and wellness programs Care for the underserved—the health care "safety net" Quality of care The impending workforce shortage Comparative-effectiveness research to compare treatments Changes in the way medicine is practiced Tort reform Describing the reform act as the foundation and framing of a house, it outlines what doctors, patients, and families must focus on as states, the federal government, and the courts craft this legislation over time. The author cuts through the political rhetoric to address the core question: how do we preserve our ability to provide the best possible care for patients and fulfill our societal mission of providing care for our citizens independent of their financial means? Focusing on strengths and weaknesses, rather than what is right or wrong, he encourages readers to think creatively about their role in establishing a better system of health care in America.

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