What we don’t know, what we do know, and how best to proceed—an invaluable guide for those in a supremely difficult spot.



A clear-eyed view of psychiatric disorders and how drugs may help, Drummond’s guide recognizes both the complexity of the subject and medicine’s inadequate understanding of the underlying physiology.

Psychiatrist Drummond points out at the start that psychiatric problems are not like other medical problems. First, there is so much unknown about causes and treatments (even the mechanisms of some treatments considered standard are not fully understood); and second, people vary infinitely both in their psyches and in their responses to treatments. Above all, considering the level of distress that is present before most people even seek out a psychiatrist, it is almost impossible to act as an informed patient. “Trying to manage their distress, talk to a doctor they’ve never met before about intimate details of their lives, understand what the doctor is saying about their problems, learn about the different treatment options, and decide between different medicines that are completely unknown is extremely difficult.” Drummond never oversimplifies here, first considering “The Myths about Medication” (media reporting on psychiatric issues is notoriously unreliable). Part II (“Is Medication for You”) makes clear the complexity of this decision and offers guidelines for the process. Part III describes the various psychiatric syndromes and their treatment, and Part IV offers a detailed, alphabetically arranged guide to the medications (including alternative remedies).

What we don’t know, what we do know, and how best to proceed—an invaluable guide for those in a supremely difficult spot.

Pub Date: May 12, 2000

ISBN: 0-471-35370-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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