This award winning book aims to open up the debate on mental disorders, to get people interested and talking, and to get them thinking.
For example, what is schizophrenia? Why is it so common? Why does it affect human beings but not other animals? What might this tell us about our mind and body, language and creativity, music and religion? What are the boundaries between mental disorder and 'normality'? Is there a relationship between mental disorder and genius? These are some of the difficult but important questions that this book confronts, with the overarching aim of exploring what mental disorders can teach us about human nature and the human condition.
A really accessible and thorough approach to a complex and often impenetrable subject. —British Neuroscience Association
Neel Burton succeeds brilliantly, not only in explaining different types of mental illness in simple terms, but also in the breadth of understanding he brings to aspects of life outside the mental straitjacket. —British Medical Association
Ultimately, this is a work of contradictions, an undemanding read that could challenge your view of the world. —Medical Journalists' Association
This remarkable book provides a highly readable and at the same time authoritative account that by combining literary and scientific sources shows the deep connections between madness and some of our most important attributes as human beings. —Prof Bill Fulford, University of Oxford
About the author
Dr Neel Burton is a psychiatrist, philosopher, and wine-lover who lives and teaches in Oxford, England. He is a Fellow of Green-Templeton College in the University of Oxford, and the recipient of the Society of Authors' Richard Asher Prize, the British Medical Association's Young Authors' Award, the Medical Journalists' Association Open Book Award, and a Best in the World Gourmand Award. His work has featured in the likes of Aeon, the Spectator, and the Times, and been translated into several languages.