Year : 2011  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 375--376

Short textbook of Psychiatry

Kangkan Pathak 
 Associate Professor of Psychiatry, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Kangkan Pathak
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam

How to cite this article:
Pathak K. Short textbook of Psychiatry.Indian J Psychiatry 2011;53:375-376

How to cite this URL:
Pathak K. Short textbook of Psychiatry. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 May 12 ];53:375-376
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[AUTHOR:1]Edited by: J. N. Vyas


Publisher name and Address: New Central Book Agency (P) Ltd., Kolkata, India.

Published in 2011

Pages: 858, Price: 850/-

Many text books of psychiatry have been published in recent years for different categories of readers. This book is intended for the use of undergraduate medical students as well as trainees preparing for their post graduate (PG) Entrance, doctor of medicine, diplomate of national board and diploma in psychological medicine examinations. This short text book is edited by Prof. J. N. Vyas, Dr. N. K. Bohra, Prof. S. S. Nathawat and Prof. R. K. Solanki. A large number of well-known professionals are the chapter advisors for this text book. There are 30 chapter advisors including the editors. But chapter wise contributions of the individual authors are not mentioned.

There are 48 chapters in addition to one chapter on multiple choice questions (MCQs). The first four chapters deal with classification, history and mental state examination, etiology and phenomenology. The following 33 chapters cover various clinical conditions. Separate chapters are devoted to Child Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Primary Care Psychiatry, Psychiatric Emergency and Addiction Psychiatry from Chapter 38 to 42. Various modalities of psychiatric treatment, including electroconvulsive therapy, psychosurgery, psychopharmacology and complimentary medicine, are presented in chapter 43. Chapters 44 and 45 include Rehabilitation in Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry, respectively. Guideline and Algorithm for Psychiatry Treatments is discussed in chapter 46. The last two chapters are on brief history of psychiatry and index for international classification of diseases-10 th edition (ICD-10) codes and its equivalent diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4 th edition (DSM-IV) codes. A valuable set of MCQs included in the last part of the book will definitely help the students who are preparing for various entrance examinations.

This book gives clinical descriptions of both common and a few rare psychiatric disorders. Important topics like postpartum psychiatric disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome are discussed in detail separately. Important studies, mostly western, are also described in relevant places in order to make it evidence based. The book also incorporates many recent developments in psychiatry and their impact in clinical practice. References for each topic in a particular chapter are given separately which makes it more reader-friendly. The index makes the use of the book easy, while looking up a specific topic.

This book is comprehensive in covering the basics of symptomatology, causes, psychiatric diagnosis, pharmacological and psychosocial management, prognosis with important researches in this area. But for the sake of brevity, some significant recent developments are not included. Readers, particularly PG students of psychiatry, have to consult appropriate reference book for that purpose.

Some chapters (e.g. Chapter 3: Causes of mental disorder) are very much succinct and well written. But this is not true for all the chapters. Chapter 45 on Forensic Psychiatry ignored the significant developments in this field in recent years. There is scope for better organization for a few chapters. Similarly, the persons with disabilities Act is not mentioned. There are many positive developments in the arena of National Mental Health Programme in India in the 10 th and 11 th five-year plan. This is not reflected in the chapter on National Mental Health Programme (Chapter 40). The inclusion of both ICD-10 and DSM-IV codes (Chapter 48) simultaneously will be very much appreciated by the readers for ready reference. The index needs to be revised. It is found that for many topics it is either not included or incomplete.

Printing mistakes are few in this book. Care should be taken in the next edition to avoid some printing anomalies like repetition of phrases which at times is distracting to the readers (e.g. page 21).

It is understood that it is a tough job to edit a book with several contributors. At several places in this edition, there are repetitions of paragraphs, particularly in the portions of pharmacological managements of different illnesses (e.g. pages 263, 277, 418 and 519/264 and 521). The unwanted repetitions could have been avoided. The size of the volume would have been reduced by few pages if drugs had been discussed together in Chapter 43 under Psychopharmacology and only the specific points had been included in special areas, e.g. Old age psychiatry, Child psychiatry, etc. Inclusion of dosage of a particular molecule in children or during pregnancy under Old age psychiatry is totally unwarranted (e.g. page 518-520). Similarly, geriatric dosage and dosage during pregnancy are included in the chapter on Child psychiatry (e.g. page 486-489). These points should be noted in future revision/edition.

The chapter on Guideline and Algorithm for Psychiatry Treatment will be very much useful for clinicians in their day-to-day clinical practice. It also incorporates summary of national institute for health and clinical excellence guidelines. If Chapter 47 on brief history of psychiatry had been presented in a tabular form, it would have been more convenient for the readers. Judicious use of flow charts and tables have made some chapters more attractive.

This book is recommended not only for undergraduate and PG medical students, but also for other trainees of mental health, e.g. nursing students, students of clinical psychology, psychiatric social work as well as for general practitioners. Tailoring information for different groups of readers with different educational background is not so easy. But the editors are more or less successful in attaining this goal. Recent years have witnessed an increasing involvement of wide range of non-specialist personnel for mental health care in different parts of India. Volunteers, school and college teachers, ex-patients, family members of the persons with mental disorders, health workers and primary care physicians are increasingly engaged in wide variety of mental health care services. This group of personnel will also be immensely benefited from this book as they can have a grasp on the subject of mental health.