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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Taking almost two years to complete, this book is a compilation of research and information about the complex nature of personality disorders. As the introduction describes, much about the classification and understanding of these disorders is debated, even amongst those who work most closely with these illnesses.
Purpose: This volume, the eighth in a series of works addressing various topics in psychiatry, is meant to generate a new approach, and possibly inspire a reorganization of the classification of personality disorders by "providing an overview of the research evidence...and allowing a direct comparison of the state of the art for the various groups of disorders."
Audience: The authors suggest this book is primarily aimed at "researchers, in their current work to re-shape the classification of personality disorders," and "clinicians, in their daily struggle with these complex and demanding conditions."
Features: "Much of this book is divided into understanding the various clusters of personality disorders. A significant portion (225 pages) of the 500-page book is devoted to "Cluster B" disorders. More specifically, entire chapters address antisocial disorder, border1ine and histrionic disorders, and narcissistic disorder. These disorders are examined from many different aspects, including developmental models and genetic epidemiology, and treatment issues are discussed as well. There are a few diagrams and tables, though the vast majority of the book is text only. "
Assessment: Although this book is clearly well researched and reasonably organized, much of the material is quite complex. This book's main weakness is the absence of a discussion regarding any neurobiological (neurotransmitters, etc.) evidence for these disorders, which has become a more prevalent topic in recent years.