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Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER…
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Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist (edition 2010)

by Paul Linde

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936227,288 (3.65)5
The psychiatric emergency room, a fast-paced combat zone with pressure to match, thrusts its medical providers into the outland of human experience where they must respond rapidly and decisively in spite of uncertainty and, very often, danger. In this lively first-person narrative, Paul R. Linde takes readers behind the scenes at an urban psychiatric emergency room, with all its chaos and pathos, where we witness mental health professionals doing their best to alleviate suffering and repair shattered lives. As he and his colleagues encounter patients who are hallucinating, drunk, catatonic, aggressive, suicidal, high on drugs, paranoid, and physically sick, Linde examines the many ethical, legal, moral, and medical issues that confront today's psychiatric providers. He describes a profession under siege from the outside--health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, government regulators, and even "patients' rights" advocates--and from the inside--biomedical and academic psychiatrists who have forgotten to care for the patient and have instead become checklist-marking pill-peddlers. While lifting the veil on a crucial area of psychiatry that is as real as it gets, Danger to Self also injects a healthy dose of compassion into the practice of medicine and psychiatry.… (more)
Member:stuffedandstarved
Title:Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist
Authors:Paul Linde
Info:University of California Press (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 280 pages
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Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist by Paul Linde

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I was expecting more from this book. It seemed to get more into a lot of the legal aspects of medicine and psychiatry than emergency psychiatry. It was just meh for me. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jun 24, 2016 |
The good:

The stories of the patients, mad, bad, high, low enough to want to commit suicide and all the other varieties of craziness that end them up in a psychiatric emergency room.

The indifferent:

As so much of it is on the job, I am usually interested in the methods and practice of medical training. However, the author's training for this job was essentially talking. About himself. I didn't find this fascinating. There were discussions of patients' rights and the ethics of treatment which also weren't fascinating but quite interesting.

The bad:

The author takes it on himself to represent his entire medical speciality and philosophises and pontificates on too many boring aspects related to his profession like insurance companies, Big Pharma and all the usual suspects.

I used to like Tolstoy and quickly learned (from reading Anna Karenina) to skip over the politics and peasants and philosophising. I wish I'd read this book like that too.
( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
Linde uses patient stories to open discussions of psychiatry/psychology concepts and intervention principles. It makes for a somewhat uneasy blend of story and pedagogy. The most consistent focus is on the author and his growth as a psychiatrist. This is fine; however, Linde often makes statements about philosophy and practice that he overgeneralizes to most or all psychiatric workers. I don't agree with Linde at a reasonable number of points, and would not have been troubled by this if he did not make such over-inclusive assertions. This puts me, a reader who has worked in multiple psychiatric assessment and treatment units, in the position of countering Linde as I'm reading, which distances me emotionally more than I would have thought going into it. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is one psychiatrist's stories from the frontlines of mental illness and acute situations.
  zenosbooks | Sep 9, 2012 |
This book's a real winner -- everything I had hoped Julie Holland's terribly overrated book Weekends at Bellevue would have been. The author, who works at a psychiatric emergency room, presents a series of essays with examples of experiences he often encounters in his line of work: residual schizophrenics suffering from homelessness as much as mental illnesses, long-term unrepentant drug addicts, evaluating an attempted suicide as a possible candidate for organ transplantation, etc. Each chapter flows pretty smoothly into the next, but they could stand alone; in fact, I read them somewhat out of order.

I feel like I learned a lot, which is something, since I've read so many books on the same subject. I can certainly understand and empathize with the author's issues with the subject of treating sick people vs. their right to make their own medical decisions. In addition to all of that, I genuinely liked Dr. Linde. I mean, I think it would be cool to have pizza with him or something, and we would have a lot in common.

So if you're into books about psychiatry and mental illness, I would highly recommend this one. ( )
2 vote meggyweg | Mar 27, 2010 |
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The psychiatric emergency room, a fast-paced combat zone with pressure to match, thrusts its medical providers into the outland of human experience where they must respond rapidly and decisively in spite of uncertainty and, very often, danger. In this lively first-person narrative, Paul R. Linde takes readers behind the scenes at an urban psychiatric emergency room, with all its chaos and pathos, where we witness mental health professionals doing their best to alleviate suffering and repair shattered lives. As he and his colleagues encounter patients who are hallucinating, drunk, catatonic, aggressive, suicidal, high on drugs, paranoid, and physically sick, Linde examines the many ethical, legal, moral, and medical issues that confront today's psychiatric providers. He describes a profession under siege from the outside--health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, government regulators, and even "patients' rights" advocates--and from the inside--biomedical and academic psychiatrists who have forgotten to care for the patient and have instead become checklist-marking pill-peddlers. While lifting the veil on a crucial area of psychiatry that is as real as it gets, Danger to Self also injects a healthy dose of compassion into the practice of medicine and psychiatry.

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