Psychiatric disorders are common in general medical practice. This handbook is a practical guide intended for all health care professionals frequently required to treat patients with acute psychiatric disorders. An accessible and authoritative guide to the immediate management of the full range of psychiatric problems presented in emergency departments, it is arranged by symptoms rather than diagnoses. The authors offer the reader a systematic guide through assessment and diagnosis, immediate investigations and management, and treatment as far as transferal to specialist departments. They cover assessment and management of the emergency, and guide the reader, in a step-by-step synthesis, to the point at which the patient is stabilized and consideration can be given to the planning of definitive treatment. The authors include an introductory section on eliciting and recording the psychiatric history of a patient and then considerin alphabetical orderthe management of common psychiatric presentations. A final section looks at legal matters, including the use of common law and the Mental Health Act and liaison with other statutory agencies, in particular the police and social services.