Head First: A Psychiatrist's Stories of Mind and Body

Author(s) : Alastair Santhouse

Head First: A Psychiatrist's Stories of Mind and Body

Book Details

  • Publisher : Atlantic Books
  • Published : July 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 301
  • Category :
    Clinical Psychology
  • Category 2 :
    Memoir
  • Catalogue No : 96672
  • ISBN 13 : 9781838950347
  • ISBN 10 : 9781838950
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What does it mean to be well? Is it something in our body? Or, is it rather something subjective - something of the mind? In this profound collection of clinical stories, eminent psychiatrist Dr Alastair Santhouse draws on his experience of treating thousands of hospital patients to show how our emotions are inextricably linked to our physical wellbeing.

Our minds shape the way we understand and react to symptoms that we develop, dictate the treatments we receive, and influence whether they work. They even influence whether we develop symptoms at all. Written with brutal honesty, deep compassion, and a wry sense of humour, Head First examines difficult cases that illuminate some of our most puzzling and controversial medical issues-from the tragedy of suicide, to the stigma surrounding obesity, to the ongoing misery of chronic fatigue. Ultimately he finds that our medical model has failed us by promoting specialization and overlooking perhaps the single most important component of our health: our state of mind.

Reviews and Endorsements

Incredibly moving... As you would expect from a psychiatrist, Santhouse's wonderful descriptions of his patients focus on the minutiae, the tiny details of appearance, speech and demeanour, details that often go unnoticed, but which are far more telling than anything you might find in a thick folder of patient medical notes. A wise, timely and eloquent book... A joy to read. - The Guardian

Santhouse brilliantly illuminates the extraordinary and mysterious ways that our personal stories affect both
our mental and our physical health. Compassionate, insightful, and riveting. - Lori Gottlieb, author of the New York Times bestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

A wonderful and humane look inside and outside the head by an experienced psychiatrist. Santhouse's deep dive into how the mind shapes an individual's perception of their body and illness is a welcome retreat, particularly in the age of "self". - Allen Ropper, author of the Sunday Times bestseller Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole

Thought-provoking... it's evident throughout that Santhouse is an intensely sympathetic physician. - Times Literary Supplement

Alastair Santhouse is a superb storyteller...it is a rewarding experience throughout to read, not just about the medicine but also Santhouse's colourful tales, his own life and his vast case-book. - The Jewish Chronicle

About the Author(s)

Dr Alastair Santhouse is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Neuropsychiatry and Liaison Psychiatry working at both The Maudsley Hospital and Guy’s Hospital in London. After completing his training in internal medicine, he was unable to resist the allure of psychiatry, and retrained as a psychiatrist. He now works in the area of mind and body, the land between physical and mental health, which is the subject of his first book, Head First.

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