Review: Clinical Psychopharmacology made ridiculously simple

I am not the target audience for this book.

The book is written for primary physicians who find themselves in the position of prescribing psychiatric medications. That purpose can be seen in the distinctions drawn, throughout, between the sorts of psychiatric conditions that can be managed by a primary physician (such as prescribing antidepressants) and those for which referral to a psychiatrist is recommended (such as psychotic depression).

Still, though the book isn’t written for patients or family members as such, its clear, simple presentation makes it a useful reference for those patients and family members who want to get informed about their medications. We purchased a copy to bring to our support group meetings as a reference.

The book is divided into chapters that cover different conditions (e.g. bipolar disorder) or topics (e.g. enhancing medication adherence). There are tables showing the clinical mechanisms and dosages of different medications, decision charts for selecting the appropriate medication for a condition, and descriptions of how psychiatrists decide on their treatments, from when someone with depression may get referred for therapy alone and when medication is needed, to which medications are appropriate for which symptoms. Case studies discuss how a psychiatrist may adjust treatment depending on the response of the patient.

It’s a good book that can help take some of the mystery out of why your psychiatrist may be making the decisions he or she is making.