François Lelord

The Tales of an Ordinary Psychiatrist Publication date : November 1, 2000

France has the world's highest per capita consumption of anti-depressants, tranquillisers and sleeping pills, yet psychological problems remain taboo and the act of consulting a psychiatrist is generally regarded as frightening. Psychiatrists are regarded by some as charlatans who play around with words and pills; by others, as dangerous manipulators; by others yet, as those terrifying people who have the power to lock up patients. To correct these negative views, the author points out that significant progress has been made in the understanding of the human psyche and that we now know how to alleviate many disturbances. Various means are at our disposal to deal with a wide range of problems, from everyday anxieties to panic attacks, and from obsessions to neuroses. Even serious psychoses, which for a long time were held to be incurable, have yielded to some forms of treatment. Based on a description of several specific case studies, which he regards as representative, François Lelord examines the manifestations and mechanisms of various psychic disturbances, as well as ways of dealing with them. He reviews the various means that are available to doctors to help patients. In a lively and highly readable style, he explores existing forms of treatment for such disturbances as stress, agoraphobia, depression, manic-depression, bulimia, anorexia, obsessions, schizophrenia and autism. In this book, readers will find clear answers to questions that they may be afraid to ask when they realise that something is 'wrong', either with themselves or with a loved one. Often, they will also discover that a form of treatment is available.

François Lelord is a psychiatrist and the author of Liberté pour les Insensés. He is the co-author, with Christophe André, of Comment Gérer les Personnalités Difficiles and of L'Estime de Soi.