Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders

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9780470639078: Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders

More than 100 medical diseases—many common ailments—are capable of masquerading as mental disorders. This book shows clinicians how to identify patients who are most likely to have an underlying physical ailment and how to direct them to a targeted medical work-up. With guidance on working with patients during the referral process and afterward, as well as on integrating medical findings into ongoing therapeutic work, clinicians will benefit from the practical advice on recognizing signs, symptoms, and patterns of medical diseases that may be underlying a psychologically presenting malady.

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A clear and systematic guide for identifying psychological symptoms that may be masking a medical disorder

How can a clinician tell if a patient might have an underlying, discrete medical condition that may be causing or complicating a presenting problem? And how might this be brought to light during an interview? An essential primer encouraging clinicians to use the therapeutic skills of observation and clinical curiosity they already possess, Unmasking Psychological Symptoms explores more than one hundred medical conditions—including thyroid disorders, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, sleep apnea, HIV, Lyme disease, and many other disorders that produce psychological symptoms. It helps practitioners direct their diagnostic skills to recognize when a physician's evaluation may be called for as the next step in treatment.

Filled with examples based on the experiences of real patients and clinicians, Unmasking Psychological Symptoms covers:

  • Performing a thorough assessment

  • The characteristics that make organic diseases difficult to detect

  • The signs, symptoms, and behavior patterns clinicians should look for when an underlying medical condition is suspected

  • How to know when to refer patients for a medical workup

Straightforward and practical, Unmasking Psychological Symptoms shows therapists how to optimally use their knowledge base and experience to provide the most effective treatment for their patients.

About the Author:

Barbara Schildkrout, MD, is a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. She has taught for many years at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Boston Institute for Psychotherapy. She is a board-certified psychiatrist and has had a private clinical practice in the Boston area for over twenty-five years.

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