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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael A. Young, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book is a wide-ranging survey of seasonal affective disorder (SAD): history of the field, biology, psychology, causes, treatments, its impact on the arts, etc. It should replace Rosenthal's popular book, Seasons of the Mind.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an overview on SAD and give direction to people in seeking treatment or, in some cases, treating themselves. It succeeds at this, although its virtues of breadth and brevity are also a weakness in that by trying to do everything, it sometimes seems a little scattered and some sections seem cursory.
Audience: It is intended for, and appropriate for, the intelligent lay person. It could be useful as an introduction for the professional, but it is not really scientifically detailed and rigorous as a primary source.
Features: There are no illustrations but they are not missed. The index is very useful. The case descriptions and references are good.
Assessment: This is probably the best book on SAD available for the lay person. It is very well written; the case histories read (intentionally, I am sure) like short stories. Like many such books, its conclusions are based on a combination of research findings, clinical impressions, and personal opinions. On the other hand, little sections on the history of seasonal time and how to decide whether to take medication or how to choose a therapist show much down-to-earth wisdom.