Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's All In Your Head and Then Some

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases by Gary Small, Gigi Vorgan

Summary: Small, a renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist, reveals the most mysterious, intriguing, and bizarre cases of his extensive medical career, in this highly entertaining and enlightening book that offers an intriguing look into the peculiarities of the human mind.

Review: A fascinating collection of stories although the author is a tad misogynistic. 

Mental illness is a very fascinating subject. The brain plays a big role in mental illness. Brain structure and functioning can be affected by trauma and stress. So it really is all in your head. A lot of the cases had a medical basis or explanation. Since Small is a psychiatrist and has had medical training, it is no surprise that medical issues are thought of as possible explanations for mental issues. There are a large number of medical illnesses and issues that can cause mental illness, but I prefer to read about mental illnesses caused by trauma and stress. 
Still, the stories were enjoyable and each case was suitably unique. My favorite case was the sociopath was two families. Sociopaths are a fascinating subject. You can see Small's humanity, his uncertainty, and how he changes throughout his career. I read in a review that the reviewer considered Small misogynistic and I can certainly agree with that. He stereotypes women and that could and will hinder his therapy with them. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interested in psychology, mental illness, and psychiatry. 

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