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What Mental Illness Really Is…

and what it isn’t

Lucy Foulkes

$24.99

Paperback

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English
Vintage
20 September 2022
A vital corrective and accessible guide to the science of mental illness

Losing Our Minds provides an accessible distillation and empowering guide to the latest science of mental illness, overturning the notion that we are experiencing an 'epidemic' of mental illness, especially among young people.

Much progress has been made in recent years to promote awareness and openness around mental illness. But academic psychologist Dr Lucy Foulkes argues that a wider understanding of what actually constitutes mental illness is still lacking. As a result, psychiatric terminology is widely overused and misapplied, and the distinction between clinical conditions that require medical treatment - such as depression and anxiety disorders - as opposed to the normal challenges of human experience - such as sadness, stress and anxiety - are being lost. Confusion arises because such distinctions are often hard to make but understanding and preserving them is essential if we are properly to care for those who are ill, equip ourselves to cope with life's unavoidable mental challenges and provide the right kind of support that each demands.

Drawing on her expert understanding of the scientific literature as well as personal experience, Losing Our Minds will present a comprehensive and sympathetic overview of the state of our current knowledge about the causes and nature of the most prevalent mental illnesses, how and when they develop, and the effectiveness of current treatments. It will also make clear what remains unknown, setting the record straight about this often controversial, misunderstood and politicised subject.
By:  
Imprint:   Vintage
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   170g
ISBN:   9781529113372
ISBN 10:   1529113377
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dr Lucy Foulkes is a psychologist who researches mental health and social development in adolescence. She is an honorary lecturer in psychology at UCL and lives in London. Losing Our Minds is her first book.

Reviews for What Mental Illness Really Is… (and what it isn’t)

This wonderful book offers an amazingly readable and cutting-edge scientific account of mental illness Beautifully written and compassionate... This book is needed urgently so that we can examine fears of a tsunami of mental health problems... Anyone touched by such problems will find much helpful practical advice A guide to the start of the art in the science of mental illness...lucidly written and builds its case with a winning combination of care and concision... This impressive book is a great starting point for well-informed conversations on the issue Everyone who either lives with or knows someone with mental illness should read it. In other words, everyone should read it This beautifully written and compassionate account, backed by state-of-the-art scientific evidence, delivers an important message: there is far more variation in the state of our mental health and far more complexity in the diagnosis of mental illness than we tend to believe. This book is needed urgently so that we can examine fears of a tsunami of mental health problems, especially in the light of the current pandemic. Anyone touched by such problems will find much helpful practical advice -- Uta Frith, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Development This wonderful book offers an amazingly readable and cutting-edge scientific account of mental illness and its relation to the stresses many young adults experience as well as the language we use to talk about ourselves -- Matthew Broome, Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health Losing Our Minds communicates complex research findings on mental illness with unusual clarity and compassion, and without oversimplifying or shying away from the difficult questions. Everyone who either lives with or knows someone with mental illness should read it. In other words, everyone should read it -- Essi Viding, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology A broad and refreshingly non-political survey ... [that] highlight[s] several difficult truths about the reality of mental illness ... Foulkes carefully lays out what we know ... Some of her findings are surprising ... Foulkes is not interested in grand generational diagnoses. She argues that while everyone may suffer from the symptoms of mental distress, only a minority experience mental illness ... Foulkes's message is a cry for nuance and complexity. As she writes, 'all forms of psychological distress are the price we pay for being alive.' While those who are seriously unwell have a right to professional attention, for the rest of us, an awareness of this truth may be just the treatment we need -- Nicholas Harris * Prospect * A totally counter culture take ... kind and clear-thinking -- Helen Rumbelow A guide to the state of the art in the science of mental illness ... lucidly written and builds its case with a winning combination of care and concision ... this impressive book is a great starting point for well-informed conversations on the issue. It speaks with calm, rational humanity about why we should hesitate before medicalising our emotions -- Professor Thomas Dixon, History of Emotions blog This is a book that calls for nuance in answering difficult questions... To Foulkes, the way forward is in acceptance of a hard truth: we need to support everyone who is struggling in a way geared to their needs; we need a different conversation about managing life's sadness * The Times *


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