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Wow! I have a lot of praise & a lot of criticism for this book. I will start by saying that I learned a TON from this book & for that reason I gave it a pretty good rating. I definately recommend this book for anyone who has had to deal with the mental health system & needs some guidance. From personal experience I was trying to get help for what I believe is an undiagnosed personality disorder. I found that therapy was not actually helping & I couldn't figure out why. This book really helped me to understand how mental disorders are treated & how I can be a better advocate for my mental health. It gave me the knowledge I needed to get the care I was missing out on.
Positives of the book: Dr Allen is very enlightening. He talks about Big Pharma & explains why there is such a big push to give medications out like candy. He explains why therapist tend to look for quick fixes & explains the different types of therapeutic approaches and also tells you why each one can or can't be helpful. He also touches on some different mood & personality disorders to show the reader how they can look similar & be diagnosed incorrectly. He also puts a strong emphasis on improving relationships in families, even broken & abusive ones. Although he does not provide specifics on how to do this, he does explain the importance of families and arms you with tools to look for a professional that is qualified to help improve poor comunication & hurt.
Negatives: Terrible book title! I thought I was buying a book that was going to be all about family dysfunction & how to improve it. While he does touch on these subjects, that is definately NOT the point of his book! Also it can be terribly wordy & hard to follow when he really gets into things about research & scientific theory. He explains how drug research results can be done badly or with an agenda. I found this part dry & hard to get into. I got his point early in the chapter, but it still drug on to a nauseating degree.
This isn't your average self help book. This book is great for the skeptic or someone at a lost about why they aren't getting the help they need or the results they would expect from medication or therapy.