Happy Halloween everyone! Please don't dress up as a psychiatric patient, it's not funny, and depicting people with illnesses in harsh ways is...harsh and insensitive, promoting stigma and fear.
In addition to Halloween --and yes there will be candy at my house tonight --- tomorrow, November 1st, is the official publication date of our new book, Committed : The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care. The printer got a little excited and released the books to Amazon (and maybe some libraries) a bit early, but our hard-working publicist, Gene Taft, at the Johns Hopkins University Press has been trying to keep things under wrap and he's done a fine job.
As the publication date has approached, there have been some reviews, and I'd like to list them in one place.
Dr. Damon Tweedy wrote a wonderful review in last Sunday's Washington Post: The Heated Battle Over When to Commit a Patient Involuntarily to Psychiatric Care
Dr. Rebeccah Twersky-Kengmana wrote another terrific review in Clinical Psychiatry News called "Committed Takes a Non--Patronizing Approach to Involuntary Care."
Blogger Kazen in Japan writes for Always Doing --Because Thinking About Reading isn't Enough. I do hope you'll read the Always Doing review because it really captured what I wanted the reader to get from the book. (Feel free to also purchase the book).
And one of our colleagues, whom I believe wishes to remain nameless, wrote the nicest review on a Facebook page, so I'm stealing it hear, namelessly:
I just finished this book, written by two people I am proud to call friends and colleagues, and one which highlights and tells the story of many of my other friends and colleagues, on all sides of the issue that the book covers. It is a marvel of balance and completeness, and of shared ideas and vigorous debate regarding differences in opinion. In a world that seems to be becoming increasingly polarized, this book is an object lesson in how to discuss contentious issues while still getting along.
None of us has a monopoly on "the truth" because in the area of involuntary treatment, there is no single, unitary "truth." I recall struggling as a psychiatry resident with issues of autonomy versus my rudimentary ideas about what would be "best" for a patient. I recall losing sleep - for patients I let go, and also, differently, and over a much, much longer term, for patients I may have wrongly retained.
This book forces the reader to confront issues related to self-direction, to the adverse impact of mental illness on decision-making, to the battles being fought over where the line is that should legally permit the involuntary treatment of a person who does not want it.
Buy it, and read it. You will learn much, and perhaps, just perhaps, get a sense of where the "other side" is coming from.
Updating on 11/1/16: a Wonderful review on Pete Earley's blog:"While books of this nature often are text book boring, COMMITTED is not. One reviewer credited the “care and consideration” that went into the book for its readability."
I'll add more as reviews come in, and on Thursday I'm going to write a bit about the process that went into writing this book in a post for the Johns Hopkins University Press blog, which I'll post over here as well. Before I even do that, I do need to thank so many of our readers, both here and at Clinical Psychiatry News, who first made us aware of what a troublesome and complicated issue forced care is, and who opened themselves us to telling us their stories and sharing such painful parts of their lives with us. You know who you are, and thank you so much. If you were an integral part to the book, a copy was sent to you with the pre-release batch weeks ago.
So if you're interested, Amazon is happy to sell a good quality, hard copy of of our book, representing many years of work by two psychiatrists for the low price of $15, or $12.99 on kindle.
More soon, I'm just sharing my excitement. More fun than thinking about Anthony Weiner's laptop and the upcoming election.