50 Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health

Overview

Anger, fatigue, obsessions, memory loss, sexual performance problems, suicidal thoughts. Are these signs of mental illness? How can you tell? Should you consult your physician? This reassuring book is for anyone seeking to understand their own symptoms or those of a loved one.

"A smart, alphabetically arranged layperson’s guide to common symptoms."—Gregory Mott, Washington Post

"Each of us has experienced one or several of the various forms of emotional distress described in ...

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Overview

Anger, fatigue, obsessions, memory loss, sexual performance problems, suicidal thoughts. Are these signs of mental illness? How can you tell? Should you consult your physician? This reassuring book is for anyone seeking to understand their own symptoms or those of a loved one.

"A smart, alphabetically arranged layperson’s guide to common symptoms."—Gregory Mott, Washington Post

"Each of us has experienced one or several of the various forms of emotional distress described in this enormously helpful book—and who has not worried about their meaning and sometimes wondered whether, or how, to seek treatment? Finally, here is the book that answers every question lucidly, directly and authoritatively."— Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., author of Lost In America: A Journey With My Father and How We Die

"This resource on the symptoms of mental illness and their treatment is a solid gem."—Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The cover may look like Menninger "lite," but this resource on the symptoms of mental illness and their treatment is a solid gem. Organizing the text alphabetically by symptom, psychiatrist Hicks (director, clinical services, Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Ctr.) opens each chapter with a good story or character study, wasting no words and packing in much more than one might expect without getting heavy: "When you bought the shotgun a week ago, you told yourself you would never use it"-so begins "Suicidal Thoughts." Anxiety, anger, denial, depression, stress, and trauma are also headlined, as well as religious preoccupation, nonsense, oddness, and homosexuality (not a mental illness). Statistics fit in helpfully; there are no notes, but resources at the end are extensive and include recommended books on various topics. An extensive index contains many drug names, along with terms like Alzheimer's, ECT, hypnosis, and lying. Hicks is warm but can be blunt, reassuring but stern about getting treatment and preventing harm. A reservoir of useful knowledge, this belongs in almost every library serving real people.-E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Each of us has experienced one or several of the various forms of emotional distress described in this enormously helpful book—and who has not sometimes wondered whether, or how, to seek treatment? Finally, here is the book that answers every question lucidly, directly and authoritatively. Dr. Hicks deserves the thanks of every reader, for his remarkable contribution to mental health.”—Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., author of Lost in America: A Journey with My Father and How We Die

“Dr. Hicks has done what many doctors are afraid to do: tossed aside the jargon and described in everyday terms what mental illness looks and feels like. This is an important and wonderfully accessible book!”—Charles Barber, project director, Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

“Concrete stories, a wide range of information, helpful advice—a most useful book for the general reader.”—Michael Rowe, Yale School of Medicine

Anand Pandya
"Tackling psychological problems begins when we notice their signs. Dr. James Hicks has used this fact to devise an exceptionally practical guide for anyone struggling with the questions of mental illness."—Anand Pandya, M.D., NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center, and NAMI Board of Directors
Charles Barber
“Dr. Hicks has done what many doctors are afraid to do: tossed aside the jargon and described in everyday terms what mental illness looks and feels like. This is an important and wonderfully accessible book!”—Charles Barber, project director, Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health and Author of Songs from the Black Chair: A Memoir of Mental Interiors
Michael Rowe
“Concrete stories, a wide range of information, helpful advice—a most useful book for the general reader.”—Michael Rowe, Yale School of Medicine
Sherwin B. Nuland
"Each of us has experienced one or several of the various forms of emotional distress described in this enormously helpful book—and who has not worried about their meaning and sometimes wondered whether, or how, to seek treatment? Finally, here is the book that answers every question lucidly, directly and authoritatively. Dr. Hicks deserves the thanks of every reader, for his remarkable contribution to mental health."— Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., author of Lost In America: A Journey With My Father and How We Die okay to edit for space but has to be cleared with SBN first--
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300116946
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Series: Yale University Press Health and Wellness Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 537,719
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

James Whitney Hicks, M.D., is director of clinical services at the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center in New York City. He is also assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University.

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Table of Contents

Anger 9
Antisocial behavior 13
Anxiety 21
Appetite disturbances 27
Avoidance 37
Body image problems 42
Compulsions 47
Confusion 54
Cravings 59
Deceitfulness 72
Delusions 77
Denial 84
Depression 91
Dissociation 107
Euphoria 114
Fatigue 117
Fears 121
Flashbacks 125
Grandiosity 128
Grief 133
Hallucinations 139
Histrionics 143
Hyperactivity 147
Identity confusion 157
Impulsiveness 162
Intoxication 168
Jealousy 180
Learning difficulties 184
Mania 194
Memory loss 206
Mood swings 216
Movement problems 221
Nonsense 227
Obsessions 232
Oddness 241
Panic 246
Paranoia 251
Physical complaints and pain 257
Psychosis 267
Religious preoccupations 280
Self-esteem problems 285
Self-mutilation 295
Sexual performance problems 300
Sexual preoccupations 309
Sleep problems 319
Sloppiness 328
Speech difficulties 333
Stress 337
Suicidal thoughts 341
Trauma 348
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Invest in a copy of the DSM-IV.

    Unless you have no background in psychology, this book is fairly insulting to your intelligence. It's written predominantly in second-person, which is indicative that it's intended for self-diagnosis. Symptoms are organized alphabetically, rather than clustered by relevance. Provides a cursory explanation of many psychological symptoms. This was an assigned text for one of my classes, but I haven't used it, because I have the DSM-IV.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2006

    Great resource

    This was a great book for those that are new to mental illnesses and want to know more. There was enough information to understand the concepts of each symptom, but not too much to confuse. Great to have in the home!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2005

    excellent resource

    An excellent resource and may be especially helpful for people unfamiliar with the mental health profession. Dr. Hicks writing is jargon- & judgement- free, very clear and unbiased.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    50 Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health (Yale University Press Health and Wellness Sereis)

    I am not one for self-books, but found this fascinating. I could not put it down in the bookstore, found myself buying it, and it's been an adventure since! So insightful, extremely helpful, and fun to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2005

    I found very helpful

    I'm not in this field but I looked up a few topics that trouble some loved ones and was surprised at how accurate the symptoms and behavior described were. The language used makes clear things that seemed so complicated. Very good book, hopeful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2005

    Great addition to medical student education

    Language is a tool of psychiatry. Yet, one of the major difficulties that one encounters when practicing psychiatry is the imprecision of terms used to describe various signs and symptoms. Some of the concepts used by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals come from common usage and describe common human feelings and behaviors. Then a question arises: When do anger, anxiety, stress become signs of illness? Other terms, usually derived from Latin or Greek, can intimidate with ominous associations. Certain schools of psychiatry create a vocabulary firmly rooted in an underlying theoretical system and words are given specifically defined meanings. Psychiatric researchers use rating scales to define signs and symptoms by quantifying them. Dr. Hicks¿ approach is to explain the term by contextuliazing it, and by exposing the full spectrum of associated meanings. He does it using a warm, understandable and highly readable language. Dr. Hicks wrote this wonderful psychiatric dictionary primarily for non-professionals, for patients and their families. However, as an educator, I immediately recognized its usefulness as a teaching tool. In my work with medical students, I always emphasize that they speak with their patients in a language the patients understands and to always make sure that they, as a therapist and the patient mean the same thing by the concepts they use. I urge them to explore what it means for the patient when he or she says: ¿I am depressed.¿ Dr. Hicks¿ book provides, I believe, a guide to the novice in the trade of psychiatry and psychotherapy to help him or her communicate with his or her patient, to help him or her explore the patient¿s symptoms using the patients¿ own language. That is why I have started to recommend this book to my medical students. It fills the gap that traditional psychiatric textbooks generally leave unaddressed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    Great information and easy to follow

    This book is packed with information ideal for the consumer looking to expand their knowledge of mental illness. It helps you identify with people who have mental illness. It's also helps people recongnise symptoms of their own illness. It's a good book to read before your first psychiatrist vistit because you can write down what symptoms you have that you learned about from this book and other things that are causing you distress to help your psychiatrist make a diagnosis. Over all it's a must have for mental illness survivors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    50 Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health (Yale University Press Health and Wellness Sereis)

    This book is well-written, very clear, concise, and easy to read. It has a ton of good references at the back. I've seen myself in every chapter!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    Mental Health Must Read

    '50 Signs of Mental Illness' is clear, cogent, compelling and compassionate. It will be helpful to those with questions concerning themselves as well as those they care about. Dr. Hicks has that rare talent of being able to explain complex topics in a straightforward manner so that all can learn. Beyond being well written, this book lends itself to those who like to skim as well as those who prefer to read from cover to cover. Finally, this is an important contribution to the literature on mental health.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    50 Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health (Yale University Press Health and Wellness Sereis)

    Mr. Hicks takes on the Herculean task of presenting mental illness in a manner that is easily digestible for a lay audience, but that does not compromise the complexity and nuances of the subject matter. This volume has the potential to revolutionize the way this country understands and talks about mental illness. Great job, Mr. Hicks! I am a fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    50 Signs of Mental Illness........

    I was VERY disappointed with this book. Too simplistic and lacking in detail. I do not recommend this book if you are trying to actually learn something worthwhile. Do not waste your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2005

    50 Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health (Yale University Press Health and Wellness Sereis)

    I highly recommend this book. I started out reading the sections that address my own 'issues,' and was blown away by the insight and detail provided. Then, in thumbing through the other chapters, I was further drawn in and became completely absorbed in the book as a vehicle to understanding those around me. This book is also incredibly well written and easy to read or skim.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2005

    review of 50 signs of mental illness......

    I was disappointed in the book. I found it did not live up to the title. I do not recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    Deserves a place in the library

    The book deserves a place in every home library next to the medical book addressing our physical ills. Dr. Hicks¿s graceful writing and clear advice takes away the mystery of often forbidden subjects. It will be a help and a comfort to many families. It also will grace the writing library of this fiction writer. Hicks¿s concise approach to mental problems will help me (and, likely, many another writer) keep my troubled characters in character. My kleptomaniac will know what traits to take; the dipsomaniac will do the right thing (which, of course, is likely to be the wrong thing).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2005

    CLEAR, CONCISE, ENJOYABLE AND VERY ACCESIBLE

    This book is a fundamental resource for professionals who work in social services because it conceptualizes and clarifies basic concepts about human conduct and behavior. As a social worker in Hispanic communities, I highly recommend this book to my profession colleagues and suggest a new edition in Spanish for use in our Hispanic community.

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