Facts and Fictions in Mental Health


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Written in a lively and entertaining style, Facts and Fictions in Mental Health examines common conceptions and misconceptions surrounding mental health and its treatment. Each chapter focuses on a misconception and is followed by a discussion of related findings from scientific research.

  • A compilation of the authors’ “Facts and Fictions” columns written for Scientific American Mind, with the addition of six new columns exclusive to this book
  • Written in a lively and often entertaining style, accessible to both the undergraduate and the interested general reader
  • Each chapter covers a different “fiction” and allows readers to gain a more balanced and accurate view of important topics in mental health
  • The six new columns examine myths and misconceptions of considerable interest and relevance to undergraduates in abnormal psychology courses
  • Introductory material and references are included throughout the book.


  • Notes on Authors xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Section 1 Anxiety–Related Disorders
  • Section 2 Mood Disorders
  • Section 3 Child and Adolescent Disorders
  • Section 4 Addictions
  • Section 5 Externalizing Problems
  • Section 6 Personality Disorders
  • Section 7 Shattered Selves: Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Section 8 Popular Myths About the Brain and Behaviour
  • Section 9 Psychotherapy and Other Approaches to Change
  • Section 10 Other Myths

Author Bio:

Hal Arkowitz is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona. He has published widely in the areas of anxiety, depression, resistance to change, and psychotherapy. A past editor of the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, he maintains an active clinical practice as well as teaching courses on abnormal psychology, psychopathology, and psychotherapy at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Scott O. Lilienfeld is Professor of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Lilienfeld has published over 200 articles, book chapters, and books on personality, personality assessment, anxiety disorders, psychiatric classification and diagnosis, pseudoscience in psychology, and evidence-based practices in clinical psychology. In addition, he has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, CNN, the CBS Evening News, and National Public Radio.


“With frequent references to popular media, Arkowitz and Lilienfeld cover a wide range of topics ranging from popular myths regarding diagnoses and psychopathology to whether animal-assisted therapies help, what to do about road rage, the use of electroshock therapy today, and whether lunar cycles can trigger odd behaviours … this book does an excellent job at offering easily digestible consumer-oriented information that debunks many popular myths related to mental health.” PsycCRITIQUES, 62: 40 (2017)