Descriptive Psychopathology: The Signs and Symptoms of Behavioral Disorders

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In order to accurately describe and diagnose psychiatric illness, practitioners require in-depth knowledge of the signs and symptoms of behavioral disorders. Descriptive Psychopathology provides a broad review of the psychopathology of psychiatric illness, beyond the limitations of the DSM and ICD criteria. Beginning with a discussion of the background to psychiatric classification, the authors explore the problems and limitations of current diagnostic systems. The following chapters then present the principles of psychiatric examination and diagnosis, described with accompanying patient vignettes and summary tables, and related to different diagnostic concerns. A thought-provoking conclusion proposes a restructuring of psychiatric classification based on the psychopathology literature and its validating data. Written for psychiatry and neurology residents, as well as clinical psychologists, it is invaluable to anyone who accepts the responsibility for the care of patients with behavioral syndromes.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: This book describes various signs and symptoms of classic psychiatric disorders as well as symptoms that are inadequately defined by current DSM and ICD diagnostic criteria.
Purpose: The purpose is to emphasize the importance of not relying solely on DSM and ICD diagnostic criteria by educating healthcare providers on the different symptoms seen in the field of psychiatry.
Audience: The book is appropriate for clinicians who provide care for individuals with behavioral syndromes, and it seems particularly useful for psychiatry and neurology residents. The authors identify their audience as the wider population of mental healthcare workers.
Features: The book begins by describing the history, evolution, and inadequacies of the current diagnostic systems, then transitions into the basics of the psychiatric examination and diagnosis, followed by the description of various symptoms, and ends with propositions to address the problems of the current diagnostic systems. Throughout the book, several case examples and summary tables help readers comprehend this vast amount of information, but more illustrations, examples, charts, flow charts, and case presentations would have been helpful. It is disappointing that the book includes no pictures of various patients and EEG, CT, and MRI findings.
Assessment: As a psychiatric resident, I feel fortunate to have read this book early in my career to help shape the way I learn psychiatry and to care for patients with brain disease. The book is very complete in its description of various psychiatric disorders and should be recommended to psychiatric and neurology residents in training. Although it is not an all-encompassing textbook, this is easier to use to get a good grasp of various diseases than attempting to read the over 4,000-plus pages of Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9th edition, Sadock et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). It is written at a more appropriate level for residents than Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry, 4th edition, by Andreasen and Black (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2008), which is better suited for medical students. A subsequent edition will be needed as the field expands and new discoveries are made.
From the Publisher
"Appropriate for clinicians who provide care for individuals with behavioral syndromes, and it seems particularly useful for psychiatry and neurology residents....The book is very complete in its description of various psychiatric disorders and should be recommended to psychiatric and neurology residents in training."
—Doody's Review Service
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521713917
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2008
  • Pages: 498
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Alan Taylor is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Nutan Atre Vaidya is Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Illinois, USA.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; Part I. Present, Past, and Future: 1. Beyond the DSM and ICD - a rationale for understanding and using descriptive psychopathology; 2. A history of psychiatric classification; 3. The brain and psychopathology; Part II. The Neuropsychiatic Evaluation: 4. The neuropsychiatic evaluation - principles of descriptive psychopathology and the diagnostic process; 5. The neuropsychiatic evaluation - examination style, structure, and technique; Part III. Examination Domains: 6. Psychopathology of everyday behavior and general appearance; 7. Disturbances of motor function; 8. Disturbances in emotional experience; 9. Disturbances in speech and language; 10. Perceptual disturbances; 11. Delusions and abnormal thought content; 12. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors; 13. Cognitive testing and the psychopathology of cognitive dysfunction; 14. Personality; 15. Abnormal trait behaviors: personality disorder; Part IV. Evidence-based Classification: 16. Evidence-based classification; References; Index.

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