An Underview of Mental Illness
by Mike Crawford
An Underview of Mental Illness is an up-to-date, concise and meticulously documented history of mental illness with emphasis on the fabulous discoveries of the biopsychiatric revolution: The Brain
vs. the Mind, Genetics, Clinical Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, A Case History of Kindling, How to Breakeven with Affective Illness, and an Annotated Bibliography. 

Available at and Barnes and Noble


Mr. Crawford has skillfully interwoven his 19 years of personal experience with Bipolar Disorder with information explaining the particular the kindling model as presented by Dr. R. M. Post.  Kindling is explained…how it happens, and how it erupts, both technically and chronologically in Mr. Crawford’s life.  This theory is shown clearly in his example of failure at adolescent love projected to the same failure as an adult.  Mr. Crawford’s personal story, while similar to those of others with this illness, is also unique.


Also included is an excellent chapter “How to Breakeven with Bipolar Disorder” which presents timely and sage advice for anyone with this disorder.


This book is eminently readable…an excellent story and source of information that I would recommend for anyone with Bipolar Disorder and for their families and friends who hope to gain an understanding of what this illness is,  how it feels, and how it can be treated,


Table of Contents


1. The Brain vs. the Mind



The Biopsychiatric Revolution

            The Amygdala

            The Peerless Dr. Post   

                The Episodic Disorder


2. Genetics



Modern Genetics


3. Clinical Psychiatry







Issues in Psychiatry

Trial and Error Diagnosis

Not Listening to Patient Complaints

Lack of Experience on Both Sides of the Couch

The Endless Knot


4. Clinical Psychology


The Training and Function of Psychologists

Three Major Psychologies


Cognitive Therapy

Client Centered Therapy

The Complexities of Counseling


5. A Case History That Supports the Post Model of Affective Illness


Step One: Genes and Childhood Environment

Step Two: Major Childhood Anxiety Imprints

Step Three: Kindling

Step Four: Intermediate Reinforcements

Step Five: The Illness Becomes Automatic

Step Six: Containment is Achieved With Drugs

Step Seven: The Continued Evolution of the Illness

            Psychopharmacology 1981-2000

            A Summary of Social Functioning


6. How to Breakeven with Affective Illness


In a Nutshell

Recognizing the Illness

            The Invisible Part

            The Visible Part

The Essential Behaviors Following Recognition

Attitudes That Improve Visibility and Recognition

Strategies for Maintaining Relationships

Social Security Disability Income

The Behavioral Goal


Review from Barnes and Noble

Bobbie Brasher ([email protected]), March 30, 2001,
Essential reading for all Bipolars and Mental Health Professionals
The author has emerged on the other side after 14 years of struggling with Bipolar disorder and has turned his knowledge into a 'gift' for all those who suffer with mental illness and for those who treat them. His own case history of Kindling is told, then followed by very practical suggestions for survival in the chapter called 'How to Break Even with Bipolar Illness'. Extensive research has been done to provide us with a readable history of mental illness, and with a short description of the roles of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. Also included is a bibliograpy which would make a doctoral candidate wide-eyed. The book is a 'gift' because the writer has not only seen the underview, but has taken control, studied the disease, and with great intelligence and skill has shared it with us. If you have, or think you may have a mental disorder, or if you work in the field of Mental Health, I urge you to read this book!




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