search by author or title

50 Signs of Mental Illness

A Guide to Understanding Mental Health


James Whitney Hicks, M.D. (View Bio)
Hardcover: Yale University Press, 2005.

50 Signs of Mental Illness
Winner of the 2005 Kenneth Johnson Memorial Award for the best book on mental illness from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

"This resource on the symptoms of mental illness and their treatment is a solid gem. Organizing the text alphabetically by symptom, psychiatrist Hicks opens each chapter with a good story or character study, wasting no words and packing in much more than one might expect without getting heavy.... Hicks is warm but can be blunt, reassuring but stern about getting treatment and preventing harm. A reservoir of useful knowledge, this belongs in almost every library serving real people." — Library Journal (starred review)

"Nearly one in three Americans every year suffers from some psychiatric symptom, ranging from alcohol cravings to panic attacks to debilitating psychosis. In an authoritative, 375-page compendium, Dr. James Whitney Hicks outlines the signs and symptoms of major mental illness. The book, organized alphabetically, gives concise information on coping with issues from anxiety to eating disorders. Hicks, director of clinical services at the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center in New York City, has a warm, gentle voice. He reminds us that everyone gets nervous, shy, impulsive or stressed out. Some behaviors, however, cross the line and need medical attention.... Bottom line: This is an excellent starting point for understanding mental health." — Baltimore Sun

"Hey, you're no shrink, so what do you know? 50 SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS may show you that you know even less than you thought you did and cause you to look at others — and yourself — in a different light.... Hicks has delivered a smart, alphabetically arranged layperson's guide to common symptoms ranging from anxiety to deceitfulness that may be either personal quirks or signs of psychosis. Under the 50 symptom headings, Hicks differentiates relatively normal behaviors from those requiring medical attention.... Fascinating observations abound.... In addition to symptoms and signs that you may identify in yourself and others, the book includes valuable information about the benefits and side effects of available medications. Hicks also identifies cases in which psychotherapy may be more appropriate than medication.... Beyond the 50 signs, the expansive index helpfully guides readers to relevant discussions, and there is an ample list of recommended resources for those seeking further information." — Washington Post

"Each of us has experienced one or several of the various forms of emotional distress described in this enormously helpful book — and who has not worried about their meaning and sometimes wondered whether, or how, to seek treatment? Finally, here is the book that answers every question lucidly, directly and authoritatively. Dr. Hicks deserves the thanks of every reader for his remarkable contribution to mental health." — Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., author of LOST IN AMERICA: A Journey With My Father and HOW WE DIE

"The direct address, the concrete examples, and the quality of the writing give a dramatic, page-turning quality to the text." — Michael Rowe, Yale School of Medicine

"Dr. Hicks has done what many doctors are afraid to do: tossed aside the jargon and described in everyday terms what mental illness looks and feels like. This is an important and wonderfully accessible book!" — Charles Barber, Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

"Tackling psychological problems begins when we notice their signs. Dr. James Hicks has used this fact to devise an exceptionally practical guide for anyone struggling with the questions of mental illness." — Anand Pandya, M.D., NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center, and NAMI Board of Directors

"Concrete stories, a wide range of information, helpful advice — a most useful book for the general reader." — Michael Rowe, Yale School of Medicine

Up Back to Top