Description: This is essentially an update and expansion of the chapters on antidepressants and mood stabilizers found in Stahl's prior text, Essential Psychopharmacology, 2nd Edition (Cambridge University Press, 2000). As such, this text is current and timely. The author utilizes numerous cartoon-style graphics and tables to present the material as concise visual lessons.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the reader with essential pharmacologic concepts that pertain to the pathophysiology and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. The author aims to review the neurotransmitter systems involved in the illnesses, review the pharmacology and proposed mechanisms of action for both antidepressants and mood stabilizers, and provide clinically oriented applications for the medications. These are extremely useful aims and the objectives are very well met.
Audience: This book is targeted for students, residents, and clinicians of psychiatry. Psychiatric residents and clinicians will find a concise and clear presentation. In addition, the material is clinically relevant and the references provided allow for more detailed investigations as needed. The author is a renowned clinician, lecturer, and author. His credentials are solid in the area of psychopharmacology.
Features: In his typical fashion, the author presents his material by means of cartoon-style graphics and bulleted tables. This is essentially an expanded text version of a lecture on the psychopharmacology of depression and bipolar disorder. The adage that "a picture is worth 1,000 words" is certainly demonstrated by the use of figures in this book. Complex mechanisms are presented in simple to understand and remember graphics, and then clear tables reinforce these concepts.
Assessment: This is a very useful book for anyone interested in the pharmacologic basis for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. The material is presented in a graphical manner that makes learning and retaining the material simple. The size of the book allows for portability for use as a pocket reference, making this text of particular benefit to the resident or clinician practicing psychiatry.