Medications & Psychiatry

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
Psychiatry Under the InfluenceAlternatives Beyond PsychiatryAmerican MadnessAmerican PsychosisAn Unquiet MindAntipsychiatryBad PharmaBefore ProzacBetter Than ProzacBiological PsychiatryBipolar, Not So MuchBlack Man in a White CoatBlaming the BrainBrain Science and Psychological DisordersBrainwashedClinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously SimpleComfortably NumbCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyComplete Mental HealthConcise Guide to PsychopharmacologyCrackedCritical PsychiatryCultural FormulationDeconstructing PsychosisDemystifying PsychiatryDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDiagnosis: SchizophreniaDiagnostic Issues in Depression and Generalized Anxiety DisorderDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisordered Personalities and CrimeDoctoring the MindDoctors of DeceptionDrop the Disorder!DruggedDrugs for LifeEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEssential PsychopharmacologyEssential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar DisorderEssentials of Psychiatric DiagnosisEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEthics in PsychiatryEvidence-Based Treatment of Personality DysfunctionExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessFinding the Right Psychiatrist:Forces of HabitHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHappy Pills in AmericaHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHerbs for the MindHigh PriceHippocrates CriedHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHookedHuman TrialsInfectious MadnessInspired SleepIntoxicating MindsIs It Me or My Meds?Let Them Eat ProzacLife-Threatening Effects of Antipsychotic DrugsLitLiving with Bipolar DisorderMad in AmericaMad ScienceMalignant SadnessMedicating ChildrenMedicating Modern AmericaMental Health in Asia and the PacificMind FixersMoments of EngagementMommy I'm Still in HereNatural Healing for DepressionNo One Cares About Crazy PeopleNot CrazyOrdinarily WellOur Daily MedsOverdosed AmericaPathologist of the MindPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPharmaceutical FreedomPharmacracyPharmageddonPharmageddonPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPoets on ProzacPower HerbsPowerful MedicinesPrescriptions for the MindProfits Before People?Prozac and the New AntidepressantsProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac DiaryProzac on the CouchPsychiatric DiagnosisPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatrists and Traditional HealersPsychiatry and EmpirePsychiatry and the Business of MadnessPsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry at a GlancePsychiatry in PrisonsPsychiatry ReconsideredPsychopathyPsychopharmacology Problem SolvingPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePsychotropic Drugs And Popular CulturePsychotropic Drugs: Fast FactsRaising Generation RxRe-Visioning PsychiatryRecovery from SchizophreniaReligious and Spiritual Issues in Psychiatric DiagnosisRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySaving NormalSchizophreniaShock TherapyShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShrinksSide EffectsSometimes Amazing Things HappenStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsSuccessful PsychopharmacologySuffer the ChildrenTaking America Off DrugsTalking Back to ProzacTextbook of Cultural PsychiatryThe $800 Million PillThe Age of AnxietyThe Anti-Depressant Fact BookThe Antidepressant EraThe Antidepressant SolutionThe Antidepressant Survival ProgramThe Big FixThe Book of WoeThe Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesThe Conceptual Evolution of DSM-5The CorrectionsThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Cult of PharmacologyThe Dream DrugstoreThe Emperor's New DrugsThe Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2005The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2006The Making of DSM-III®The Medical Model in Mental HealthThe Medicated ChildThe Medication QuestionThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind/Mood Pill BookThe Natural Pharmacist : Natural Health Bible from the Most Trusted Alternative Health Site in the World The Pill BookThe Pill Book Guide to Natural MedicinesThe PlaceboThe Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial ModelThe Sedated SocietyThe Therapist's Guide to PsychopharmacologyThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Use and Misuse of Psychiatric DrugsThe World of CaffeineThomas S. SzaszToxic PsychiatryTrouble in MindTry to RememberTry to RememberTwilight of American SanityUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnhingedVoluntary MadnessWarning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental HealthWhat Is Mental Illness?What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5What Works for Whom?Will@epicqwest.comWomen, Madness and MedicineYour Drug May Be Your Problem

Related Topics
The Mind/Mood Pill BookReview - The Mind/Mood Pill Book
by Robert E. Hales, M.D. and Dianne Hales
Bantam Doubleday Dell, 2000
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D
Jan 12th 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 2)

In 382 pages, the authors describe the effects and side effects of hundreds of the psychiatric medications currently in use in the USA. There are ten chapters; chapters 2-7 are devoted to different categories of mental disorder - antidepressants, anti-anxiety, mood stabilizers, insomnia, anti-psychotic, and attention deficit. Each of these chapters starts with several pages of explanation of the mental illness, the typical symptoms and the available treatments. The first chapter gives a short account of the importance and role of psychiatric medications, while the last three chapters are on cognitive-enhancement, herbal and "natural" medications, and finally special considerations for women, children, and seniors. In the middle of the book are four pages of color pictures of many pills. There are 14 pages of glossary, 8 pages of organizational resources (including some web site address), and 12 pages of index at the end. Each drug is listed under its generic name, and then the following information is given:

  • Available in generic form (yes/no)
  • Brand name
  • Scientific drug class
  • Conditions the drug is prescribed for
  • General information
  • Dosing information
  • Common side effects
  • Precautions
  • Warnings
  • Whether the drug is safe when combined with alcohol
  • Food and beverage restrictions
  • Possible drug interactions
  • Use in pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • Use in children
  • Use in seniors
  • Overdosage
  • Special considerations

The writing is clear and helpful. For example, the authors mention when a drug originally designated for one disorder becomes used for other disorders. For example, Zoloft was first used for depression, but now is used for many disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Why would you want to use this book when you can simply go to the world wide web and look up information? For instance, Rxlist will give detailed information for most psychiatric and other medications, and there are many similar sources of information, such as Yahoo's massive list of medications. I compared the information available in the book about Zoloft with the information available in several web sites. With the web, I found several dead links, several sites of highly technical information that was hard to understand, some sites with very basic information, and no site with as comprehensive information as that given in the Hales' book.

Nevertheless, very few of us take more than two or three prescription drugs for mental disorders each year, so most people would only need read a small number of entries for themselves. Furthermore, the information in this book is probably already a little out-of-date, given the number of new medications and all the new research that is being done. I suspect that books like this get used most when talking to friends and family members. For example, several years ago a number of my friends started on a number of medications and I happened to have a copy of The PDR Family Guide to Prescription Drugs. There were countless times when they would call up and say their doctors had prescribed some new drug and they wanted to know what it did. Books like this are especially useful when psychiatrists are evasive, hurried, unhelpful, or even incompetent, and patients need more information to work out why they have been prescribed a medication and what to expect from it.

I was disappointed with the chapters on cognitive enhancement (only two medications listed) and natural/herbal medicines (only seven listed). Given the strong public interest in these areas, the authors should devote more pages to those chapters. However, The Mind/Mood Pill Book is a very useful guide to prescription medication for mental disorders.

Modified 11/16/2001.

© 2001 Christian Perring. First Serial Rights.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life. He is available to give talks on many philosophical or controversial issues in mental health.


Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716