‘Wise, timely and eloquent… A joy to read.’ Guardian
What does it mean to be well? Is it something in our body? Or, is it rather something subjective – something of the mind? In this profound collection of clinical stories, eminent psychiatrist Dr Alastair Santhouse draws on his experience of treating thousands of hospital patients to show how our emotions are inextricably linked to our physical wellbeing.
Our minds shape the way we understand and react to symptoms that we develop, dictate the treatments we receive, and influence whether they work. They even influence whether we develop symptoms at all. Written with brutal honesty, deep compassion, and a wry sense of humour, Head First examines difficult cases that illuminate some of our most puzzling and controversial medical issues-from the tragedy of suicide, to the stigma surrounding obesity, to the ongoing misery of chronic fatigue. Ultimately he finds that our medical model has failed us by promoting specialization and overlooking perhaps the single most important component of our health: our state of mind.