cover image The Family Guide to Mental Health Care

The Family Guide to Mental Health Care

Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D. Norton, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-393-70794-6

Sederer sees families as an early-warning system for mental illness, and here, New York State’s top mental health official gives kin of the mentally ill a thoughtful, compassionate, and fact-packed guide for recognizing illness and getting help. “[T]reatment approaches for mental illnesses are no different from treatment approaches for other serious and persistent medical illnesses,” Sederer writes. Recovery takes time— “Never, ever, give up.” With passionate optimism, Sederer examines the facts about diagnoses, treatments, and doctors, and suggests questions to ask at every step of the way: What symptoms are being treated? Why this medication? Is the treatment working? There are heartbreaking case studies, but there are success stories too, including his own and that of a fellow doctor and author who is “thriving” with illness. The heart of this remarkable resource, however, is a wide-ranging breakdown of the “faces of mental illness,” including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, as well as eating, personality, and bipolar disorders—and how each may manifest. “Trust your instincts,” he urges. “To do the right thing, you must face the unwanted visitor of mental illness and act before it defeats the person you love—and you as well.” With a moving forward by actress Glenn Close, who calls mental illness “a family affair,” this extraordinary guide offers valuable information and inspiration. Agent: Jeanne Dube, Forte Associates. (Apr. 15)