Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- Premenstrual Dysphorias: Myths and Realities Edited by Judith H. Gold and Sally Severino

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- Premenstrual Dysphorias: Myths and Realities Edited by Judith H. Gold and Sally Severino

Article excerpt

JUDITH H. GOLD AND SALLY SEVERINO, EDS.: Premenstrual Dysphorias: Myths and Realities. American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 1994, Washington, DC, 262 pp., $32.00.

This timely book explores current research, theory, and practice on the topic of premenstrual disorders, with a focus on late luteal phase dysphoric disorder (LLPDD). The book contains chapters by recognized experts on various aspects of the topic, including the difficulties in differential diagnosis, methodological issues in research, biochemical correlates, treatment efficacy (psychotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic), and sociocultural factors. Most notable are chapters summarizing the current literature on biological correlates, neurochemical findings (the section on serotonergic mechanisms and their implications is promising), and differential diagnostic considerations. Certainly the chapter on treatment approaches and efficacy would be vital to the clinician. The distinction between illness and disease is one that can be considered in many clinical settings, where different terminology may be useful (e.g., disorder, disability, etc.). In sections on historical aspects, the reader might benefit, however, from having a broad sociocultural background or personal context to question and challenge certain ideas raised.

What the reader gains is an appreciation of the complexity of the issues that surround, even cloud, research on the topic. The reader unfamiliar with the topic will gain an appreciation as well for the nature of the problem subjectively for the patient and clinically for the treatment provider. The clinical problem is one addressed by the book quite explicitly, namely, that much is still lacking in our understanding of the specific mechanisms, including neurobiologic ones, of the premenstrual condition(s). …

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