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Understanding Mental Illness: A Layman's Guide

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This book is designed to give the general reader accurate information about mental illness—a disease like any other, but one which happens to affect the nervous system and, therefore, emotion and behavior rather than the heart, lungs, or kidneys.
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    • Last updated June 7, 2018
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For centuries the treatment of psychiatric illness was rooted in superstition and misunderstanding. Even today fear, shame, and guilt haunt the family and friends of the mentally ill.

In clear, non-technical language Dr. Andreassen helps the reader understand the types of mental illness—schizophrenia, mania, depression, delirium, senility, paranoia, various neuroses and the effects of alcoholism and drug abuse—their symptoms and causes. She describes the kinds of professional help available and offers advice to relatives and friends on how they can be supportive.

Dr. Andreasen stresses that man's spiritual relationships are just as important as his relationships with himself, with others, and with his environment. Using case studies and examples, she demonstrates how psychiatric problems can often be illuminated or alleviated by religion.