This is not a bad book, all in all. It covers a lot of useful territory, and for someone recently diagnosed who doesn't know a lot about depression, it might be a decent place to start. But, for those of us who are not starting from scratch, this book doesn't add much, if anything, to better books already out, and it falls short of the mark in some important ways.
My gripes with this book fall into two main categories. First, the book lacks detail in critical areas. For example, in the section on medications, there is only a passing reference to the sexual side effects of the SSRIs, and there is no discussion of how patients can deal with that problem -- i.e. reduce dosage, switch to another medication, augment the SSRI with another drug, etc. The author should know that sexual side effects like anorgasmia and reduced libido affect a huge percentage of people who take SSRIs, and that these side effects diminish the quality of many patients' lives and create serious compliance problems. I'm shocked that this important subject is given such cursory treatment. The section on meds also lacks details concerning dosages, augmentation, and withdrawal, important topics all. So much for the book jacket promise of a "cutting edge" discussion of medications! At the same time, the book is fairly long, and probably not an easy read for someone truly suffering from depression. If a reader is expected to plow through this much text, he or she should at least be rewarded with more detail and "state of the art" information, as promised.
Second, there are some pretty egregious errors in the medication sections. The charts covering various meds are a great idea, and they could be very useful, but they are replete with mistakes. Drug names are misspelled ("maclobemide" instead of moclobemide, "tobomax" instead of Topomax, for example) and the generic and brand names are sometimes flip-flopped (see "tobomax" and Lamictal for example). There is just no excuse for the sloppy, inaccurate charts. Didn't SOMEBODY who knew SOMETHING about these meds PROOFREAD this section? I really couldn't recommend this book to someone suffering from depression knowing that there are significant, obvious errors like this. I'd lack confidence that the rest of the book was more carefully written and edited.
I should confess that I was induced to pick up this book because of the promise of "cutting edge" info on meds, so that's where I started reading. The other sections, which I skimmed, looked pretty run of the mill, although I might feel differently upon a closer reading -- which won't be happening due to the other flaws noted above.
There is some good information here and perhaps the book will appeal to some readers. But, in my view, the book has some significant flaws, and it really doesn't add anything to a field that's already fairly crowded with better books.