Sunday, November 5, 2017

Book Review: Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R. Emlet

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Title: Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications

Author: Michael R. Emlet

Series: Helping the Helper #1

Genre: Christian Living/Self-Help

Audience: Adult


OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder ... these are not just diagnoses from the DSM; they are part of our everyday vocabulary and understanding of people. As Christians, how should we think about psychiatric diagnoses and their associated treatments? We can t afford to isolate ourselves and simply dismiss these categories as unbiblical. Nor can we afford to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise at face value as though Scripture is irrelevant for these complex struggles. Instead, we need a balanced, biblically (and scientifically!) informed approach that is neither too warmly embracing nor too coldly dismissive of psychiatric labels and the psychiatric medications that are often prescribed.

Biblical counselor and retired physician, Michael R. Emlet, gives readers a helpful way forward on these important issues as he guides lay and professional helpers in the church through the thicket of mental health diagnoses and treatments in a clear, thoughtful primer in which the Bible informs our understanding of psychiatric diagnoses and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels.

This first book in the Helping the Helper series will give readers biblical, gospel-formed categories that will help them understand and minister to those who are struggling with mental health issues.

**4.5 stars**

Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications by Michael R. Emlet wasn't exactly what I was expecting - especially not in the first quarter or so of the book. But it had good information to impart, and I feel like I've learned a lot. I received some things to ponder, and now have an overall more balanced view of medications and how to help those dealing with mental struggles.

For a long time, I've wanted to know more about the struggles of the mind. Helping people work through emotional/mental issues - counseling, on a small scale - has been something on my heart. On the other hand, I'm a deep thinker and I understand, to some extent, some of these mental struggles, having dealt with anxiety for many years.

So yes. This book was very interesting to me. At first, it was a little over my head, what with some of the history of psychiatric stuff and all these technical terms, in-depth diagnoses, and medications and what they do. But as I kept reading, Descriptions and Prescriptions really became engrossing to me. I started understanding things a little more. And then, toward the middle of the book, the author started talking more about the spiritual and emotional side ... and asked the question: How do we approach mental illnesses and struggles? Is medication always the answer? Where does faith factor into all this?

There were some real-life stories and situations that were very helpful in understanding people and seeing this author's points.

Overall, I felt Michael R. Emlet approached this subject with solid history and facts, wisdom, good information, grace, and some great thoughts. One thing I liked that he said, more than once, is: we are both body and spirit. To neglect one or the other when helping someone, or reaching out for help yourself, is a mistake.
I'm glad I read this book. I plan to keep it on my bookshelf for future reference, and recommend to those wanting to understand more about this subject.

I received a copy of Descriptions and Prescriptions from Litfuse Publicity Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review.

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