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Biological UnhappinessReview - Biological Unhappiness
by Leland M. Heller MD
Dyslimbia Press, 1999
Review by Su Hunter
Dec 23rd 2000 (Volume 4, Issue 51)

Dr. Heller opens his book with the first chapter covering introduction and goals. He tells the reader a bit about himself and what his intentions are for the reader to get from the book. The second chapter is a short "screening test" to get you thinking about the diagnosis that he is getting ready to cover in the book. I found this chapter very appropriate and useful. It made me take a hard look at myself. Many times, we, as counselors, are so busy diagnosing our clients that we forget to look at our own lives.

The next 14 chapters go over the most common disorders, including depression, bipolar mood disorder, cyclothymia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, anxiety, ADHD, and many more. He opens each chapter with a few case histories. He then explains about the medications that patients were prescribed, and if they worked or not. The second part of the chapter goes over the actual disorder. He closes the chapters by returning to the case histories and telling the outcome of each one. Each chapter is kept short, but very informative. The book flows nicely, until chapter 10 when he goes over OCS. It is obvious that he knows this topic very well, and goes into a little too much detail. The chapter got dry and was very hard to get through. The detail that he went into would have been more appropriate in a book just for OCD. Many lay readers would be lost in that chapter.

Dr. Heller picks right back up where he left off in chapter 9, and does a wonderful job with the remaining chapters. Chapters 17-20 go over the medical treatment and medications. He explains how and why the medications work or do not work. This part of the book could be used as a reference area for counselors. It is nice to have a quick reference area when a counselor gets a new client that has a disorder with which they do not usually work. The last four chapters go over the recovery process and how to move forward. He touches on the fact that you have to retrain your brain to work correctly. These last four chapters are very important as they give hope to a reader with a disorder. It also helps those who are reading the book as counselors as it gives you some ideas on how to help counsel your clients into Biological Happiness.

In the very end of the book, he has 76 pages of case history. This section closes the book very well. I would recommend this book to undergraduate study for an Introduction to Clinical Psychology course, since it is very easy reading and the writing flows very nicely.


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