I am most grateful to Dr Jennifer Barraclough for inviting me to help with the previous edition of this book. Following her retirement from clinical psychiatry, I am grateful to her and to John Wiley for the opportunity to prepare a new edition. Any good qualities it may have are hers; its many faults are mine alone.

For reasons of confidentiality, the clinical examples are made up of composite case histories and do not refer to real individual patients.

Some of the references are to internet sites; these may be open to criticism as being potentially impermanent, but they have the merit of availability and they are free at point of access.

Part I

The nature and

assessment of



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