We cannot know how to fix a problem until we understand its causes. But even for some of the most common mental health problems, specialists argue over whether the answers lie in the person s biology, their psychology or their circumstances.
As a cognitive neuropsychiatrist, Anthony David brings together many fields of enquiry, from social and cognitive psychology to neurology. The key for each patient might be anything from a traumatic memory to a chemical imbalance, an unhealthy way of thinking or a hidden tumour.
Patrick believes he is dead. Jennifer’s schizophrenia medication helped with her voices but did it cause Parkinson s? Emma is in a coma or is she just refusing to respond?
Drawing from Professor David s career as a clinician and academic, these fascinating case studies reveal the unique complexity of the human mind, stretching the limits of our understanding.
I am an absolute sucker for a bit of non-fiction, especially when that book discusses the complexity of the brain. One World publication kindly sent me a surprise copy to read and review. Into The Abyss by neuropsychiatrist Anthony David delves into the troubled mind while trying to answer the question if mental illness is a disease of the brain or a disease of the mind. This read was published on the 6th of February , you can grab yourself a copy here.
Anthony David is Director of the UCL Institute of Mental Health and honorary consultant neuropsychiatrist at the National Hospital, Queen Square. For twenty-eight years he was a consultant psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital, London, the country s leading psychiatric institution. A Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Academy of Medical Sciences, he has published over 600 peer-reviewed articles and is co-editor of the journal Cognitive Neuropsychiatry and the book Lishman’s Organic Psychiatry. He also wrote the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of R.D. Laing s The Divided Self.
Into The Abyss is an all access, informative read that delves into the complexity of the human mind, from the invisibility of some to the mental illnesses that are extremely forward and noticeable. I was shocked to learn about how varying quantities of brain receptors can trigger a domino effect within the brain. For example, how different levels of dopamine present can either trigger Parkinson’s or Schizophrenia, isn’t the brain such complicated system?!
Yes, this is a medical read, but unlike many that information dump and have the readers brain hurting within the first 70 page chapter – Into The Abyss teaches its reader with the use of antidotes and smaller case studies that back up information present within each chapter. Each short chapter teaches the reader about causations of neuropsychiatric conflicts within an individual’s brain with short knowledgeable bursts of details that I personally hung on to, I love learning new things and this book really did that without causing my brain to fall asleep. The average chapter length is 20 pages so you’re able to dip in and out or read the chapter you fancy at the time.
Really well written, engaging and not to harsh to read, with areas that are witty but also compassionate and really interesting. If medical reads are your thing, this is a read that should be on your TBR!
Until next time,