Falling into the Fire

  • by Christine Montross
  • Narrated by Christine Montross
  • 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Falling into the Fire is psychiatrist Christine Montross's thoughtful investigation of the gripping patient encounters that have challenged and deepened her practice. The majority of the patients Montross treats in Falling into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the hospital incite the frustration of the staff, leading Montross to examine how emotion can interfere with proper care. A recent college graduate, dressed in a tunic and declaring that love emanates from everything around him, is brought to the ER by his concerned girlfriend. Is it ecstasy or psychosis? What legal ability do doctors have to hospitalize - and sometimes medicate - a patient against his will? A new mother is admitted with incessant visions of harming her child. Is she psychotic and a danger or does she suffer from obsessive thoughts? Her course of treatment - and her child's future - depends upon whether she receives the correct diagnosis.
Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. A doctor of uncommon curiosity and compassion, Montross discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. At once rigorous and meditative, Falling into the Fire is an intimate portrait of psychiatry, allowing the reader to witness the humanity of the practice and the enduring mysteries of the mind.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Buy this book! and READ it

oh, this audiobook is awful! Read by the author in a deliberate, listless, extremely careful monotone (someone must have told her to slow down her reading and she went nuts with that advice). Much as I wanted to hear the content, which subject fascinates me, I simply could not keep my mind from straying as I listened. It's a great soporific. Listen at bedtime and you'll zonk right out.
Buy the book. Read it.
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- joyce

Learned a lot from this book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If my friend likes books about mental illness then yes..this was a great read.


What did you like best about this story?

I liked the detail that the author went into regarding each patient.


Have you listened to any of Christine Montross’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think so


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

not really


Read full review

- Mary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios