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Hypochondria: Woeful Imaginings Paperback – July 7, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Susan Baur's book is a mixture of medical history, popular science and intelligent general reflection. Ms. Baur traces her story to antiquity, to Hippocrates and Galen, and brings it up to date with the findings of recent research; she moves easily between contemporary case histories and some of the great hypochondriacs of the past." -- John Gross, New York Times

"Susan Baur. . . turns up a staggering number of famous historical hypochondriacs and summarizes a century's research. . . . The book is gracefully written and accessible." -- Mike Oppenheim, The New York Times Book Review

"The best adjectives describing this work would be 'clear' and 'thorough'. . . . Anecdotes about the lives of Tolstoy, Darwin, and Boswell are fascinating and . . . illustrative of the roles of relationships and blame in hypochondriacs." -- T.L. Brink, American Journal of Psychotherapy

"[Baur] draws on the experiences of a vast army of hypochondriacs past and present, known and unknown, to identify the condition and the consequences for the relationships the sufferer has with his or her surroundings. An excellent study for those on each side of the situation." -- Institute of Health Education

About the Author

Susan Baur received her Master's degree from Harvard University and is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Boston College.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (July 7, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520067517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520067516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,671,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eileen G. on November 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
Baur, a psychologist,efficiently examines the 'woeful imaginings' of the hypochondriac -- from mostly historical perspectives. A chapter on world-class hypochondriac James Boswell, biographer of Samuel Johnson, is a highlight, as is a chapter on European treatments and philosophies of this malady. Imagined illness' role in childhood, among the elderly, in other cultures; its function in relationships -- all discussed. The historic stuff is great. The book falters on the contemporary problems of hypochondria. Baur's clinical approach seems sensible and pragmatic, and I would suspect that it doesn't work.Can hypochondriacs really 'unlearn' it? I wish she had dug a little deeper in her final chapter, "Getting Better." Definitely worth reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BofHope on March 31, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A graceful, lovely little book - I am delighted to be offered Miguel de Unamuno and Hannah Arendt for self-help! (And I wish more popular psychology books had bibliographies like hers!)
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