This book argues that mental illness does not just happen. Whereas physical disabilities and developmental disabilities can occur at birth, mental illness and personality disorders come about within a complex process of human development involving socialization, child rearing and nurturance, genetic predisposition, societal norms, and environmental aspects as well as intrinsic internal phenomena (thought, mood, attitude) taking place in the individual. The book advocates for the open and unstigmatized recognition and treatment of emotional/psychiatric aberrations. It goes even further to advocate for the utilization of every resource possible to alleviate the travails of mental illness. The book plead is for tolerance, attainment of more knowledge about the subject, understanding, acceptance, objectivity, and an impartial unbiased way of thinking in dealing with mental illness as a part of life..
This book emphasizes that the mind, body, and spirit are renewed through appropriate therapeutic, pharmacological, and medical interventions. Psychotherapy is a very important part of this process. The book suggests that psychotherapy is not just “talk” but includes verbal release, advocacy, case management, assistance in emotional and social empowerment, and reciprocal interchange in an interactive process between the patient and the therapist. The use of strengths and resources is an important mechanism in the therapeutic process.
The most prevalent disorders of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are presented. Childhood disorders of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Impulse Control Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder and Autism are discussed in a chapter on children. Dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse are also an area of attention.
Other topics of focus are religion and religiosity in mental illness; the interstitiality of diagnoses, symptoms, and dynamics in mental illness; and the variables of human development in relation to personality and personality disorders. Music and its relationship to emotions is briefly mentioned. Techniques of intervention, including individual therapy, group therapy, case management, advocacy, and day treatment are also foci of discussion.