Malady of the Mind: Schizophrenia and the Path to Prevention

Scribner. Feb. 2023. 528p. ISBN 9781982136420. $30. PSYCH
Lieberman (Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry), whose research led to the therapeutic strategy for the early detection and prevention of schizophrenia, describes moving to New York in 1975, when news outlets were covering the story of serial killer “Son of Sam,” who eventually received a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Divided into four parts, this brilliant book describes the treatment of schizophrenia in the 18th and 19th centuries with the asylum movement and development of the first mental healthcare reformers. There’s also a section that shows the birth of psychiatry, the rise of schizophrenia as a specialization, the development of psychoanalysis to discover the roots of mental illness in the brain, and the advances of science in understanding the brain itself. The author also spotlights today’s methods of diagnosis and treatments for schizophrenia. Currently, anti-psychotic drugs can be used to control the psychotic manifestations that occur with this condition, such as hallucinations, delusions, and scrambled thoughts. Lieberman concludes that schizophrenia can be managed or treated through medication and therapy.
VERDICT This book will likely be of interest to those in the medical profession and scholars. It belongs in social and behavioral sciences collections.
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