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Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science…

Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental… (2015)

by Harriet A. Washington

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424273,462 (3.42)2



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I listened to this book and I think it could've been stronger. She spent a lot of time protesting that people don't believe in infectious madness and not enough time on the studies and stories that would convince. ( )
  chellerystick | Jan 10, 2017 |
Fascinating read - complex and at times confusing to the layman but it is much more accessible than an academic scientific journal article. We live in an environment of microbes. The author delves into the history germ theory in modern medicine and more specifically looks at the effects of pathogens and immune responses on mental health. Do we catch schizophrenia, depression, autism, Alzheimers, etc. from bacteria, parasites or viruses? Until 1994 doctors believed that ulcers came from stress. Turns out H.pilori was the culprit. ( )
  triscuit | Mar 19, 2016 |
This is a heavy book. I was attracted by the title and thought it might be easy reading. Well it was not. It turns out this book was part of the author's Master's thesis. It was, therefore, a scholarly work. I learned a lot from this book and in particular a lot about the mind body connection. Would I recommend this book? If you are fascinated by medicine and treatment methodology this book is for you. Otherwise? Hmm... ( )
  Writermala | Mar 3, 2016 |
The idea: some mental and emotional "illnesses" are not diseases of the of the mind but are actually signs or symptoms of a biological disease or its aftermath. This was such an interesting theory on the spread, contraction and display of mental and emotional illnesses. The first three-quarters of the book was very plausible to me, someone who does not work in the medical field. The last bit of the book stretched the theory too far for my imagination. ( )
  Sovranty | Feb 25, 2016 |
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The highest activities of consciousness have their origins in the physical occurances of the brain just as the loveliest melodies are not too sublime to be expressed by notes.

—W. Somerset Maugham
For Pete
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Gazing into the night sky with its seemingly numberless stars evokes our sense of infinity, but if you seek the ultimate multitude, look closer to home.
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