Description: This edited volume provides a comprehensive overview of issues and research relating affective disorders and personality disorders.
Purpose: The book aims to improve treatment of patients with both Axis I and Axis II issues with a sense that "the patient is better served if the characterologic manifestations are viewed as part of the affective illness." Authors with various expertise offer information that addresses this serious need.
Audience: Research on pharmacology as well as psychotherapy makes this a valuable book for psychiatrists. Therapists who work with psychiatric patients would benefit from the perspective and research in this book. Residents or students in training would also find the material interesting and readable.
Features: The book flows smoothly with themes from the earlier chapters on psychobiology and temperament woven into content in subsequent chapters. A balanced, critical report of research leaves the reader with a sense of some fairly good evidence to help explicate the impact personality can have on issues of treatment. At the same time, limitations in research demonstrate how much remains to be explored. There are some cases to illustrate diagnosis and treatment, but the contribution of the book is its strong theoretical approach which can enhance the clinician's approach to treatment with this population.
Assessment: To my knowledge, this is the most concise presentation of the genetic, biological, environmental, interpersonal, and psychosocial factors that impinge on persons who might not respond well to treatment for depression because of underlying personality structures. This is a very important contribution that offers new hope in work with these people. The busy clinician will find the content in this well-organized book easily accessible.