The Other Side of Normal: How Biology Is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior (Paperback)
Psychiatry has ignored the normal. The focus on defining abnormal behavior has obscured what turns out to be the more fundamental question--how does the biology of the brain give rise to a mind which gives rise to everything we care about: thoughts, feelings, desires, and relationships?
In "The Other Side of Normal," Harvard psychiatrist Jordan Smoller shows us that understanding what the mind was designed to do in the first place allows us to demystify mental illness and build a new foundation for defining psychiatric disorders from autism to depression. Smoller argues there are no bright lines between normal and abnormal and explains where our personalities come from, and how our temperaments as infants actually stay with us into adulthood. Along the way, he tackles an even greater question--what do we mean by "normal"?--as he explores puzzles as wide ranging as the epidemic of multiple personalities and the shocking phobia of shrinking penises.
Based on Smoller's groundbreaking research and own experience treating psychological disorders, "The Other Side of Normal" changes the way we think about the human condition.
About the Author
Jordan Smoller is associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Praise for The Other Side of Normal: How Biology Is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior…
“Move over Oliver Sacks - I couldn’t put this fascinating book down! Path-breaking and witty, as entertaining as it is informative, The Other Side of Normal is filled with insights into why we behave as we do and how biology determines so much of our emotional makeup. A brilliant mind and dazzling writer, Smoller has written a book that will change the way you look at every day life.”
-Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and New York Times bestseller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
“Exciting... provocative...Clearly and articulately, he ties evolutionary psychology, biological psychiatry, animal behavior, and related fields into a package of rare coherence.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Highly interesting and accessible study of brain science and behavior....This thoroughly documented work provides enough information to satisfy the science-savvy without leaving the rest of us behind....Readers will be fascinated.”
“An informative overview of research in neuroscience that provides a scientific foundation for understanding mental disorders.”
“Smoller redefines the biology of normal.”
“Are we born crazy, or is crazy thrust upon us? Smoller investigates.”