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Posted August 23, 2011
This book is very important and here's why: you may have heard of "white-coat fever." If you haven't, it is the nervous reaction a patient gets when meeting with his physician, who is all dressed up in his starched-white coat. If the patient's Blood Pressure was normal before seeing his doctor, he can be sure that it will be elevated during an examination, because the doctor is dressed in white. It's not so much the color. It's what the color represents. Really just an irrational fear, it is a real reaction that happens often. And a good doctor will take the patient's BP a couple more times during an exam to make sure that it is really lower than the initial read.
Although mental health workers usually dress in street-clothes, this phenomenom still exists in a big way whenever a patient with mental illness meets with his/her psychiatrist. "Psychiatry in Techno Colors" does a lot to erase "white-coat fever," not because Dr. Liebowitz dresses down, but because he dares to do even more: he lives in the same world his patients live in. This is made clear in his book. Plus he wrote it to be understood by all, not by just his peers. What's more, there's a cache of information about psychiatry--both past and present--in this book that everyone, not just the psychiatric community, should be aware of.
All too often a psychiatrist stays mum about treatment plans and therapies. And sometimes that's warranted in order to avoid shaping the patient with ideas that are not owned by him. But take it from me--a paranoid man with schizophrenia (no lie)--the mystery that can surround the process of treatment is almost as unnerving to the patient as the mental disease itself. This book invites everyone--even the patient--to enter the Ivory Tower of Psychiatry. The Tower's secrets are finally becoming public knowledge.
Topics Liebowitz discusses begin with his experiences--first as a boy interested in the field, then as a student learning the field and then as a professional learning the field. Clearly, his lessons will continue on, as well they should. He describes Freud as THE man who dared to humanize mental illness even if his theories might not necessarily ring true nowadays. Analysts--still considered the field's top advisors--are described as those who mostly follow Freud, supposing patients have an endless amount of time and inexaustible funds. And modern day medications are discussed in detail. It has been the break-through discoveries of these newer (but sometimes also combinations of the older) medications that have finally allowed psychiatrists to treat mental illness with the word "cure" in mind. Liebowitz employs an artist's pallette as a metaphor to help him paint the patient's true, healthy psyche with medications in multiple dimensions. This is really cutting edge treatment!
The way I see it, Dr. Liebowitz has manufactured with this book a springboard for those who are mentally ill. I assume that for him the optimum attitude is one where ALL the LINES of COMMUNICATION are OPEN, as they should be everywhere.
So, with this work the dream of happy endings is now in sight for both patients and the greater community. "Psychiatry in Techno Colors" is, therefore, for the patient, the psychiatrist and the world. No more "white-coat fever." Five stars for this MUST READ!
Posted March 23, 2011
No text was provided for this review.