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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: Over 45 authors examine the nosological relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) by covering a wide spectrum of issues facing both clinicians and researchers working in these areas.
Purpose: As the DSM-V is being prepared, this book helps readers understand the in-depth process of setting criteria by examining the interrelationship between GAD and MDD, centering on the question of whether the two should be combined for DSM-V. By examining this question, readers gain insight into how research data is translated into diagnostic recommendations.
Audience: Clinicians who interact with patients with MDD or GAD or researchers who work in this field would benefit from this book. Actually, anyone would find this book fascinating, if only on a purely academic level.
Features: The authors review empirical data from several perspectives, including nosological history, genetic and biological findings, treatment options and responses, course, psychometric aspects, predictors including childhood risk factors, cultural implications, and psychosocial stressors, with the overall goal of arriving at a final conclusion about the relationship between GAD and MDD. They discuss conceptual issues to illustrate the impact of nosological decisions such as different criteria for differing but related illnesses, the relevance of data results for symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the rules for assigning disorders to categories. They provide some insight into the future research that would help to clarify the relationship between these two disorders. Each chapter includes tables and charts with appropriate references and many chapters are followed by a commentary.
Assessment: My exposure to various diagnostic issues has come from lectures and small sections in various textbooks, but I have not been exposed to the depth of the complicated and thorough process of making nosological decisions, despite the fact that my practice is heavily influenced by the DSM criteria. I found this book to be both fascinating and educational, giving me a greater understanding of the process of developing DSM criteria from research and the ramifications of the decisions, even though I am unsure of the specific ways in which this book will directly influence my treatment strategies for the patients I see. Still, I recommend this book to providers and researchers who work with the DSM so that they can better understand the process of defining criteria for the upcoming DSM-V.