Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 21, 2015 - Medical - 352 pages
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A “clear, witty, and engaging” (The Boston Globe) journey through the brain that connects neuroscience, biology, and culture. An “intellectual landmark” (Edward Shorter, Literary Review of Canada).

The current view of delusions—the strange beliefs held by people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses—is that they are the result of biology gone awry, of neurons in the brain misfiring. In Suspicious Minds, Dr. Joel Gold and his brother Ian Gold argue that delusions are the result of the interaction between the brain and the social world. They present “a dual broadside: against a psychiatric profession that has become infatuated with neuroscience as part of its longstanding attempt to establish itself as ‘real medicine,’ and against a culture that has become too networked for its own good” (The New York Times). The book “amounts to nothing less than a frontal—or perhaps pre-frontal—challenge to the dominant view of modern psychiatry, which looks to neuroscience to explain disorders of the mind” (The Washington Post).

In “a droll Oliver Sacksian tone” (The Village Voice), the Golds reveal intriguing case studies: the man who was dead and in hell, the woman who could raise the dead at Ground Zero, the man who killed God, and the people who believed they were like the characters in the film The Truman Show. These “page-turning case studies” (New Republic) of delusion “offer a fascinating and intimate portrait of psychosis” (Scientific American). “They provide more proof that no fantasist can hope to match the wonders—and horrors—of the human mind” (The Washington Post).

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User Review  - hopeevey - LibraryThing

I was given this book by the GoodReads First Reads program. The review is entirely my own opinion. Ah, so refreshing to read a really good science book! This is written for a general audience without ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Carlie - LibraryThing

While Dr. Joel Gold was a psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, he began to notice a trend in some of the patients – they thought they were being watched and manipulated, similar to the ... Read full review


The Truman Show Delusion
One Hundred Years of Delusion
The Madding Crowd
Hell Is Other People
Belief Unhinged
Beyond Belief
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About the author (2015)

Joel Gold, MD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. He is in private practice in Manhattan.

Ian Gold, PhD, is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry at McGill University.

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