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Dr. Schildkrout has received praise for her ability to make complex, clinically useful medical information available to a broad audience, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, nurses, patients, and families.

Masquerading Symptoms

Masquerading Symptoms: Uncovering Physical Illnesses That Present as Psychological Problems (just published) is a sophisticated, engaging resource compendium of practical information and covers 71 different medical diseases that can masquerade as mental disorders. Because the presentation of these physical diseases is marked by changes in mental state and/or behavior, patients with these conditions often seek help first from a therapist or in a psychiatric emergency room.

This book is a welcome contribution for use in psychiatry residency training programs to fulfill the milestones requirements in clinical neuroscience and psychiatric evaluation.

This invaluable resource contains:

  • Sophisticated, clinically relevant information that is also easy to read
  • Case examples from the medical literature
  • Mental status section that includes a full discussion of the possible signs and symptoms a patient might have and then directs readers to the diseases that might be causing these.

71 medical diseases that can masquerade as mental disorders (See Index for the complete list of diseases), including:

• The Dementia Syndromes—Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and more • Traumatic Brain Injury • Endocrine Disorders—Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, and others • Infectious Diseases—HIV, Lyme disease, Syphilis • Sleep Disorders—Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, and more • Brain Tumors • Parkinson’s Disease • Tourette Syndrome

Each disease discussion includes:
• Introduction to the Disease • Possible Presenting Mental Signs and Symptoms • Possible Presenting Physical Signs and Symptoms • Clinical Presentation • Clinical Course and Prognosis • Prevalence and Population at Risk • What is This Disease • Questions to Ask • Specialist Referral • Case Excerpts from the Literature


Order Masquerading Symptoms now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders

Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders (2011)

Quotations from Reviewers:

“Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders is designed to help therapists bridge the gaps in their expertise between psychology and medicine so as to prepare them to better understand their patients and have a higher index of suspicion about medical factors that may affect them.

The tone and scope render Unmasking Psychological Symptoms an ideal read for therapists. . . . Schildkrout deftly weaves narrative accounts of intriguing patients that illustrate a range of medical conditions with psychological manifestations. She approaches the diagnostic process as an ongoing endeavor of piecing together elements to complete a puzzle, essentially inviting the reader to solve mysteries along with her. In these ways, her writing is reminiscent of that of other physician authors such as Oliver Sacks (1985), who wrote The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Lisa Sanders, who writes the Diagnosis column in the New York Times. Schildkrout’s approach also brings to mind the writing of psychiatrist Irvin Yalom (1989), who provided fresh insights into psychotherapy in Love’s Executioner.” —Reviewed by William N. Robiner and Christopher Boys in PsycCRITIQUES-Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books

“In this practical and easy to read volume, Unmasking Symptoms, Dr. Barbara Schildkout, an experienced psychiatrist, offers both medical and non-medical psychotherapists a much-needed overview of the complex interrelationship between physical and psychological disorders. She shows how psychological symptoms can easily mask underlying medical illness and mislead even those of us with the best training and intentions. She underscores the need to be vigilant in our clinical formulations, always on alert for signs and symptoms of medical disorders. One of the strengths of this volume is the author’s use of abundant clinical vignettes to illustrate her points. She uses these cases to take the reader through important lines of inquiry that are essential for clinicians. Reading this volume will help us not be seduced by our psychological theories and lead us down the dangerous path of ignoring the contribution of underlying medical illness. I can wholeheartedly recommend this excellent volume to all who practice psychotherapy whether a student, early career professional, or experienced clinician.” Jeffrey J. Magnavita, Ph.D., ABPP, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology, Past President, Division of Psychotherapy, American Psychological Association, Member of the APA Clinical Treatment Guidelines Advisory Committee

“More than 100 medical disorders can masquerade as psychological conditions, according to Harvard psychiatrist Barbara Schildkrout . . . clarifying a diagnosis can be a relief to clinicians and patients—particularly when therapy hasn’t been working or patients have spent years blaming themselves. ‘When you find the right diagnosis, not only is there appropriate treatment, but it can make a dramatic improvement in terms of healing their self esteem,’ Dr. Schildkrout said.” —Wall Street Journal

“With her new book, titled Unmasking Psychological Symptoms, Dr. Schildkrout hopes to help clear up some of the confusion … even experienced clinicians can have a hard time determining when one causes the other, and since busy primary-care doctors and psychiatrists spend so little time with patients, the risk of misdiagnosis is all the greater.” —The Globe and Mail


Order Unmasking Psychological Symptoms now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Articles and Print:

In Therapy, Cellphones Ring True New York Times 

Am I looking at a Malignant Melanoma? New York Times

Reviews and Mentions:

Could Your Illness Trigger Depressive Symptoms? LifeScript

Confusing Medical Ailments with Mental Illness Wall Street Journal