This is a good candidate for the book that 'everybody should read'. Firstly, because nearly everybody will experience psychiatric illness in themselves, a friend or relative; and secondly because the over-prescription and wrong-prescription of psychiatric drugs is one of the major problems of this era.
Reading Healy's Psychiatric Drugs Explained is therefore a basic necessity of psychological self-defence.
It is, of course, an exaggeration to say 'everybody' should read this (or any) book, because - although it is comprehensible by a non-professional audience - it does require at least average intelligence and motivation to understand.
However, if not quite 'everybody' could read it; I have found it highly suitable for both general undergraduate and Masters post-graduate classes of both high and low ability - and indeed the typical chapter in Psychiatric Drugs Explained takes the reader from basic instruction up to what is (or should be) the cutting-edge of the subject.
And what a subject! One of the pleasures of teaching psychiatry and psychopharmacology (as I have been doing for the past 21 years) is that almost-everyone finds the subject fascinating!
Psychiatric Drugs Explained begins with sections on management of the major categories of psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar/ mania, anxiety and dementia; with the relevant drugs considered under each section.
There are also drug-orientated sections on stimulants, hypnotics (sleeping pills and draughts), drugs that affect sexual function (for better or worse) - and the vital subject of drug withdrawal with its sub-types of addiction, rebound, tolerance, and long-term dependence.
The book rounds-off with some discussions of the socio-political aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and drugs.
The main reason to read Psychiatric Drugs Explained is that it is written by David Healy - director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine in Bangor; whom I regard as the most important of living psychiatrists: a great scholar, a discoverer and re-discoverer, the subject's deepest philosopher, and the field's most incisive and constructive critic.