Book Review

ABC of Anxiety and DepressionKeeping with the mental health theme addressed in last month's review, the ubiquitous ‘ABC’ series takes up the mantle with a narrower look at one of the most prevalent aspects of mental illness.Sporting its trademark slenderness, an initial perusal of the content reveals that the presentation of the material has undergone somewhat of a face lift. Perhaps a literary risk on the part of the publisher given the enduring popularity of the ‘ABC’ format, but I would argue otherwise as the cosmetic upgrade has done nothing but accentuate the content.Relevant to any health professional working in the public and private sector, and those who do such sterling work in the voluntary (‘third’) sector, the contributors have been drawn from the higher education and healthcare sectors as well as social enterprises, ensuring the now customary informed and evidence-based ‘ABC’ approach is maintained here.The impact of anxiety and depression is considered across all age ranges and the relationship with specific medical conditions, such as maternity, is also highlighted. Psychological and pharmaceutical interventions are reviewed and the impact on those delivering care in this field offers an alternative perspective. The appendices deliver a strong closing to the book through a detailed presentation of a number of cognitive tests, depression scales and health questionnaires, all of which supplement the preceding text.My previous reviews bear testimony to the efficacy of the ‘ABC’ format, but a consistent observation is that while clarity and substance of material is present, depth is not. This is no different.Given the complex area of health care which this volume covers, it would be unrealistic to expect the subject matter to be fully analysed in a mere 76 pages of text. What it does do, as always, is provide an overview which would be of benefit to anyone working with those affected by anxiety and depressive disorders. Recommended.

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