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Mr. A. was admitted to Dr. Joel Gold’s inpatient unit at Bellevue Hospital in 2002. He was, he said, being filmed constantly, and his life was being broadcast around the world "like The Truman Show" - the 1998 film depicting a man who is unknowingly living out his life as the star of a popular soap opera. Over the next few years, Gold saw a number of patients suffering from what he and his brother, Dr. Ian Gold, began calling the "Truman Show Delusion," launching them on a quest to understand the nature of this particular phenomenon, of delusions more generally, and the nature of madness itself.
The current view of delusions is that they are the result of biology gone awry, of neurons in the brain misfiring. In contrast, the Golds argue, delusions are in fact the result of the interaction between the brain and the social world. By exploring the major categories of delusion via fascinating case studies and marshaling the latest research in schizophrenia, the brothers reveal the role of culture and the social world in the development of psychosis, notably delusions. The result is a groundbreaking new direction for thinking about the interaction of the brain and the world around us.
Sure to appeal to those who admire the work of Oliver Sacks, Steven Pinker, and Antonio Damasio, Suspicious Minds presents a fascinating study about just how dramatically our surroundings can influence our brains.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ben on 04-18-16
Is there anything you would change about this book?
This is a very interesting book in many parts, but I am not sure everyone will appreciate the detailed accounts of medical case histories. For me the latter was the book's weakness. However, if you fast-forward the case histories and cut to the chase, the theories of persecution, the evolutionary approach, the connections with modern (urban) life — all these elements make for insightful listening. I am going through it a second time around and discovering many things that I missed. I recommend this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Ex on 12-14-16
Interesting, even for the layman
the golds work toes the line between that of the psychological world and that of an ordinary, curious reader. concepts are explained in a myriad of interesting ways to help get the point across, followed by examples directly from a person's story.
I learned a lot about brain function, psychology, mental illness, and how external forces influence all of the above in an engaging, fascinating way.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful