Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 100-101
Art and Psychiatry: From ecstasy to agony and back‑journeying with Adolescents on the street

Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College Hospital, JSS University, M. G. Road, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication5-Jan-2013

How to cite this article:
Ram D. Art and Psychiatry: From ecstasy to agony and back‑journeying with Adolescents on the street. Indian J Psychiatry 2013;55:100-1

How to cite this URL:
Ram D. Art and Psychiatry: From ecstasy to agony and back‑journeying with Adolescents on the street. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Jun 2];55:100-1. Available from:

Barnabe D'Souza
Director of Don Bosco Balprafulta and Don Bosco Research Centre, Mumbai, India
Publisher: Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd; 1 edition (December 16, 2011)
Pages: 252, Price: 350/-

In 1989, UNICEF estimated 100 million children were growing up on urban streets around the world; out of them, 11 million were mostly in metros and socioeconomic factors have been cited as the important cause. Various government and non-government organizations are serving this population with limited resources and facing many challenges as most of street adolescents also suffer from substance dependence, especially inhalant use. From ecstasy to agony and back-journeying with adolescents on the street (which is dedicated to all children who touched the author's life) describes different aspects of the lives of street adolescents. Based on the experience of more than two decades and real stories, the author explores the universe of street children interestingly and empathetically, sharing firsthand experiences, time to time depiction through examples with accurate and vivid description, adequate exploration of the subject, which make it attractive and interesting, and enthusiastic for the reader.

The Book design is attractive, has a variety of types of illustrations with figures and tables, and flow diagram that complement the text. Price is reasonable.

The book is well organized and contains seven chapters, annexure, glossary, reference, and index, and whenever required, figures have been used for better comprehension of the author's perspective.

The First chapter (Through the mist) introduces the mood, sets the tone, and reflects the rhythms of street life. It briefs about the characteristics of street children and gives an overview of treatment program.

The Second chapter (Shadows and silhouettes - Self-worth) focuses on the competing and often conflicting influences on the street adolescents' self-worth in terms of identities and the process of development and transformation of self-worth.

The Third chapter (Defining image: Personal ownership) describes about personal ownership in terms of freedom, personal autonomy, personal possession, preferences, decisions, attitude, as well as street culture.

The Fourth chapter (In transition: Moving off the street) explores the processes determining the adolescent's decision to move off the street and factors that attract him back to the street.

The Fifth chapter (Shifting frontiers: Organizational issues) highlights the role of organizations as primary caregivers, the spectrum of service provision, the ethical dilemmas that confront these organizations, criteria for exclusion and inclusion, and problem relating to staff and management. It includes recommendations for monitoring, evaluation, program appraisal, advocacy, and policy measures.

The Sixth chapter (The resurgent self - The A-ha experience: Mindsets) focuses on mindset changes and thought processes of street adolescents, leading to substantial behavioral changes.

The Seventh chapter (The enduring image: Conclusion) tries to answer research question and gives recommendations for further work.

The content of this book was designed after extensive investigation into working practices with street children by an author who has dedicated most of his life to serve street children and brings the grassroots level as a firsthand experience to the reader, along with various issues involved in it. It answers many questions such as what, when, where, how, why, etc., about street adolescence.

What we learn from this book is how distinct past life of street adolescents has led to the present status and which type of coordination and contribution is needed from various sectors to make their future better.

At the end, we can agree with the author's conclusion that street youth are potential assets to their communities and society. We must open the door for them to become full participants and reintegrate into their communities.

Correspondence Address:
Dushad Ram
Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College Hospital, JSS University, M. G. Road, Mysore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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