Columbia University Medical Center

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Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing

Author(s):  Robert Klitzman, MD

Publisher Link: Oxford University Press

Date: March, 2012

In the fifty years since DNA was discovered, we have seen extraordinary advances. For example, genetic testing has rapidly improved the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as Huntington's, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, and Alzheimer's. But with this new knowledge comes difficult decisions for countless people, who wrestle with fear about whether to get tested, and if so, what to do with the results. Am I My Genes? shows how real individuals have confronted these issues in their daily lives. Robert L. Klitzman interviewed 64 people who faced Huntington's Disease, breast and ovarian cancer, or Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The book describes--often in the person's own words--how each has wrestled with the vast implications that genetics has for their lives and their families. Klitzman shows how these men and women struggle to make sense of their predicament and its causes. They confront a series of quandaries--whether to be tested; whether to disclose their genetic risks to parents, siblings, spouses, offspring, friends, doctors, insurers, employers, and schools; how to view and understand themselves and their genetics; what treatments, if any, to pursue; whether to have children, adopt, screen embryos, or abort; and whether to participate in genetic communities. In the face of these uncertainties, they have tried to understand these tests and probabilities, avoid fatalism, anxiety, despair, and discrimination, and find hope, meaning, and a sense of wholeness. Forced to wander through a wilderness of shifting sands, they chart paths that many others may eventually follow.

Anxiety Disorders: Theory, Research and Clinical Perspectives

Author(s):  Blair Simpson, MD, PhD  Yuval Neria, PhD  Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, MD Franklin Schneier, MD

Publisher Link: Cambridge University Press

Date: October 2010

Anxiety disorders are amongst the most common of all mental health problems. This book offers a variety of perspectives on new developments and important controversies relevant to the theory, research, and clinical treatment of this class of disorders and illustrates the advances that have occurred in anxiety research.

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love

Author(s):  Amir Levine, MD Rachel Heller, MA 

Publisher Link: Tarcher/Penguin

Date: December 2010

According to psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and social psychologist Rachel Heller, one’s adult romantic partnerships have patterns similar to those one has as a child with one’s parents. Our individual attachment styles are thus, they conclude, hardwired into our brains. Focusing on three main attachment styles (secure, anxious, and avoidant), the authors explain the biological facts behind our relationship needs, teach readers how to identify their own and loved ones’ attachment styles, and warn of the emotional price of connecting with someone with drastically different intimacy needs. Teaching readers communication skills to breach these differences, the authors stress that people have very different capacities for intimacy, and that partners must ensure each other’s emotional well-being. Chock-full of tips, questionnaires, and case studies, this is a solidly researched and intriguing approach to the perennial trials of “looking for love in all the right place” and improving existing relationships.

Casebook of Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Author(s):  John Markowitz, MD,  Myrna Weissman, PhD

Publisher Link: Oxford University Press

Date: March, 2012

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), an empirically validated treatment for depression and other disorders, is becoming more frequently used to treat a range of psychiatric diagnoses. Based on evidence that interpersonal problems contribute to the onset of psychiatric disorders, IPT helps patients to change interpersonal behavior in order to improve psychosocial functioning and relieve symptoms. IPT both relieves psychiatric symptoms and helps to build social skills. Bringing together experts who have treated patients with and conducted clinical research on IPT, the Casebook of Interpersonal Psychotherapy responds to the growing need for a foundational text to supplement the available manuals on IPT. The Casebook provides a wealth of real life treatment material, and illustrates the use of IPT in the hands of expert psychotherapists treating patients with a range of conditions and complications in different IPT treatment formats. The detailed cases give a sense of how IPT proceeds and how it works. Chapter authors describe specific adaptations of IPT for patients with particular disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders. The book also covers different contexts in which IPT may be practiced, including group therapy, inpatient settings, and telephone therapy. The Casebook of Interpersonal Psychotherapy is an invaluable resource for psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, and other mental health professionals interested in psychotherapy.

Depression and Heart Disease

Author(s):  Alexander Glassman  Mario Maj Norman Sartorius

Publisher Link: John Wiley and Sons

Date: November 2010

Many patients with cardiovascular disease also experience psychiatric symptoms and distress. Patients with psychiatric problems, particularly depression, may be more susceptible to cardiovascular disorders. The presence of depression aggravates the course of the disease and is associated with reduced compliance to prescribed medications and secondary prevention measures. Cardiologists and psychiatrists therefore need an awareness of these problems and to know how to assess their effect in a given patient, how to treat one disorder in the context of another and how to manage the whole patient, not isolated symptoms. Depression and Heart Disease is the first book devoted to the interaction between these common disorders.

Essentials of Schizophrenia

Author(s):  Edited by:  Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD T. Scott Stroup, MD, MPH Diana O. Perkins, MD, MPH

Publisher Link: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Date: June 2011

Schizophrenia is one of the most challenging brain disorders a mental health professional can face, yet its causes and cure remain elusive. Written by experts from a wide range of psychiatric disciplines to serve as a singular resource, Essentials of Schizophrenia clearly defines the current knowledge of the nature, causes, and treatment of this disorder and puts the many misconceptions about this disabling illness into perspective.

Farming Human Pathogens: Ecological Resilience and Evolutionary Process

Author(s):  Rodrick Wallace, PhD Deborah Wallace, PhD Robert Wallace, PhD

Publisher Link: Springer

Date: May 2009

Farming Human Pathogens describes how punctuated shifts in ecosystems can entrain patterns of gene expression and organismal evolution. The development is applied to several infectious diseases that have evolved in response to the world as humans have made it. Many pathogens emerging from underneath epidemiological control are 'farmed' in the metaphorical sense, as the evolution of drug resistant HIV makes clear, but some, like influenza, emerge quite literally as the result of new practices in industrial farming. Effective disease control in the 21st Century must necessarily involve broad economic and social reform for reasons embedded in the basics of pathogen evolution.

Gene Expression and its Discontents: The Social Production of Chronic Disease

Author(s):  Rodrick Wallace Deborah Wallace

Publisher Link: Springer

Date: January 2010

The authors show how environmental stressors, in a large sense, can induce a broad spectrum of developmental dysfunctions, and examine a number of pandemic chronic diseases using US data at different scales on the legacy of slavery compounded by accelerating industrial and urban decay. Developmental disorders, broadly taken, are unlikely to respond to medical interventions in the face of serious, persistent individual and community stress. In particular, drugs powerful enough to affect deleterious epigenetic programming will likely trigger side effects leading to shortened lifespan. The address of pandemic chronic disease requires significant large-scale changes in public policy and resource allocation."

Geriatric Mental Health Disaster and Emergency Preparedness

Author(s):  John Toner, PhD Therse Mierswa Judith Howe, PhD

Publisher Link: Springer Publishing Company

Date: April 2010

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the essential information that everyone working, or hoping to work in the field of aging, should know about disasters, emergencies, and their effects on the mental health and well-being of older persons. It provides the reader with evidence-based approaches for identifying and classifying mental health problems, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance use disorders in older adults, which may occur during and post disasters/emergencies.

Specific attention is given to the special needs and approaches to the care of at-risk groups of older persons such as veterans and holocaust survivors; older adults who are isolated, dependent, have mobility problems, communication deficits, are cognitively impaired, or have other co-morbidities; elders who use meals-on-wheels, vital medications, or home care; or older persons who are in senior centers, nursing homes, or assisted living settings.

Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go from Better to Well

Author(s):  David J. Hellerstein, MD

Publisher Link: Johns Hopkins University Press

Date: March 2011

Over 45 million people in the United States struggle with depression or anxiety disorders. Dr. David J. Hellerstein uses the term New Neuropsychiatry to refer to emerging approaches that integrate neuroscience advances into clinical practice in order to help people with these disorders. Unlike Old Psychiatry, which often focused on early life issues, the New Neuropsychiatry focuses on improving present-day life and on achieving long-term remission of symptoms. Depression and anxiety disorders damage the brain, but treatment can change the patterns of brain activity, brain cell connections, and even the brain's anatomy. To illustrate, Dr. Hellerstein relates the stories of people as they travel through various phases of New Neuropsychiatry treatment, from evaluation to therapy to remission.