- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 23, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199796440
- ISBN-13: 978-0199796441
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.3 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Angst: Origins of Anxiety and Depression 1st Edition
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"Why does mental illness persist when it would seem to be counterproductive in an evolutionary sense? Kahn argues that certain traits that promote group fitness can, in a modern context and if exaggerated, manifest as serious mental illness . . . A lively presentation." --Library Journal
"An amazingly insightful and timely book, Angst will make you think and rethink the way our brains deal with anxiety and tragedy." -- Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD is a cancer physician and researcher at Columbia University. His book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction.
"Most of the theorists who study mental illness through the lens of evolution have never seen a patient themselves. This is what makes Dr. Kahn's approach unique. Dr. Kahn refracts theory through his rich experience as a clinician and the result is a thesis on evolutionary psychiatry that is both conceptually rich and pragmatically valuable." -- Sally Satel, MD, Yale University psychiatry faculty, popular author One Nation Under Therapy; PC, MD and regular Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
"This remarkable book presents a revolutionary and counter-intuitive theory of anxiety and depression. This theory reflects the author's careful clinical observations over decades of outstanding individual psychiatric care, and from his vital work in dealing with 'the wounded workplace.' This landmark book is a must read for everyone interested in mental health, evolution - or in humankind." -- Richard K. Harding, MD, Past-President, American Psychiatric Association, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
"Kahn is a highly experienced clinician and researcher, and he offers some of the soundest, most up-to-date advice available about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness." -- Peter D. Kramer, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and author of Listening to Prozac and Against Depression.
"Jeffrey Kahn offers a novel and comprehensive evolutionary theory on the adaptive value of anxiety and depressive disorders. His insight into the social instincts in animal herds is compelling and is nicely integrated with psychiatric research and clinical observations. This is an outstanding book for the inquisitive reader, and a milestone in translating evolutionary theory into a new understanding of common psychiatric illnesses." -- Eric Hollander, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, author of Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Textbook of Anxiety Disorders, and Coping with Social Anxiety Disorder, and International Expert on Psychiatric Diagnosis and Neuropsychopharmacology
"I was intrigued by the evolutionary psychiatric explanation... make sense when you think about them from that perspective - emotional disorders arising from the conflict between societal instincts and our consciousness. It definitely got me to think about these problems in a different way, which will be useful to both me and my patients... well written with humor and insight... 4 Stars!" - Doody's Book Review Service
About the Author
Jeffrey P. Kahn, M.D.'s evolutionary theory of Anxiety and Depression draws on his academic work on anxiety disorders, workplace mental health, and precision diagnosis, and most especially upon observations from clinical practice. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University Medical School, he is now Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College, and works in Manhattan and Westchester County.
Top Customer Reviews
The title of the book is intriguing, As I understand Kahn, the struggle of consciousness, one of Kahn's six instincts, to guide us to counter-instinctive behavior gives rise to angst. The implication is that angst is more among us now than 500 or 5000 years ago. Part of angst, I infer, is a very troubling sense that we do not know ourselves - that our consciousness is engaged in a dark battle with our instincts. Consider Ophelia. Her rejection by Hamlet deprives her of a means of her expressing adult love for another. Her father's death voids her role as a caring daughter. Melancholic depression, Kahn's instinct that leads us to separate ourselves from the world, overcomes her. And she is conscious of how this fatal drive has utterly transformed her.
I give this book less than maximum stars because of the awkwardness of the exposition as the author shifts between audiences - general vs psychiatric.
By concentrating in five psychiatric syndromes, he tries to simplify the bewildering nomenclature of the DSM IV, whit its often overlapping and confusing descriptions of mental illnesses. Well written and often humorous. His main thesis will be discussed for a long time.
Lorenzo Margini MD (Psychiatrist)
I highly recommend this material for anyone looking for a superior explanation of the core psychological instincts and possible resulting syndromes. Dr. Kahn presents the material holistically meaning that he examines the historical origins (as implied by the title), the current day manifestation, and resulting impact on individuals and society. I especially like the way he takes a somewhat impartial view of the syndromes in that some, in moderation, can be beneficial....for instance, being focused on cleanliness and organization can have value if not overdone.
Ultimately, I finished this book feeling very educated and much better equipped for understanding myself and folks with whom I have relationships.