Into the Abyss: Book summary and reviews of Into the Abyss by Prof. Anthony David

Into the Abyss

A neuropsychiatrist's notes on troubled minds

by Prof. Anthony David

Into the Abyss by Prof. Anthony David X
Into the Abyss by Prof. Anthony David
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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The cases are complex and sometimes so bizarre that it's often difficult to apply their lessons to familiar disorders, but readers will be captivated. Fascinating stories from the practice of a skilled neuropsychiatrist." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"David quietly builds understanding and respect for his patients, always stressing that their behavior, even when objectively nonsensical, makes sense to them...Readers will come away from this thoughtful work feeling a sense of connection to both the patients profiled and the practitioners who aim to understand them." - Publishers Weekly

"Readers seeking a realistic approach to understanding the potential causes of mental illness will appreciate David's thought-provoking reflections, as will mental health professionals and fans of Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat." - Library Journal

"What an insightful and heartfelt book. Professor David's seven in-depth cases expose both the rifts and junctures of the brain and the disordered mind. By emphasizing the subjective inner life of his patients, he provides a welcome antidote to the reductionist thinking of modern medicine while still adhering to sound principles of neuroscience." - Dr. Alan Ropper, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and author of Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole: Extraordinary Journeys into the Human Brain

"Anthony David brings alive the specialist language of neuropsychiatry – the medical domain where the brain meets the mind – in a series of erudite, insightful and sympathetic accounts of individual patients and their families. This book is written on the basis of a lifetime's clinical experience but readable by anyone who wants to know more about some of the most challenging and perplexing disorders of consciousness, thought and emotion.' - Dr. Edward Bullmore, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge

"This powerful book can help everyone understand our minds better." - Dr. Rahul Jandial, author of Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon

The information about Into the Abyss shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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More Information

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 Neuropsychiatryand the book Lishman's Organic Psychiatry. He also wrote the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of R. D. Laing's The Divided Self.

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