Here are some fascinating books for further reading – more will be added. All are available on Amazon and some on Kindle.
The Origin of Anxieties Charles Merrett
Explores the idea that anxiety is an activity with a purpose; a life-long activity that we are all engaged in. It flows from us wanting to know how things will be for us and those who are important to us. We make predictions and want some outcomes but not others. Having feelings of anxiety is normal and inevitable; it is unavoidable if things matter to us. But how is it so many ordinary, sensible people end up with anxiety problems. The Origin of Anxieties describes the normal psychological processes that are involved. The book argues that people who develop problems are doing their best to make sense of their experiences but are misled by how society thinks about anxiety and anxiety problems.
Thinking Matters Charles Merrett
Explores the important role thinking plays in our feelings and experience. It argues that the ideas we currently use to understand feelings and experience are inadequate because they imply we are the helpless victims of circumstance and our natures. These current ideas give rise to many of our psychological difficulties. The book then offers a way of thinking about experience that can transform our ability to understand ourselves and to manage our lives more effectively.
“..one of the most lucid and humane treatments…..tackles some of the largest questions with admirable lightness…” Alain de Botton Author and Broadcaster
Sapiens; A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari.
This global best seller explores how 100,000 years ago six human species inhabited the earth, but today there is only one; homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? Bold wide-ranging and provocative, it argues that our ability to co-exist in large numbers with people we don’t know depends on shared myths; ideas that are not fundamentally true but are part of the fabric of culture. These myths can be powerful and serve some interests more than others. We take them for granted without question and much of the time they are invisible to us. However, they shape our understanding and experiences in important ways.
Crazy Like Us; The globalisation of the Western Mind Ethan Watters
A ground-breaking account of how America and the West influence mental health across the globe. It is in the process of homogenising the way the world goes mad. Among other examples, it reveals the truth about the multimillion-dollar campaign by one of the world’s biggest drug companies to change the Japanese experience of depression.
“Scary plagues like the Ebola virus or AIDS are highly unlikely to affect you or anyone you know. This book is about far more scary threats from America that are certain to affect your family and friends, if not you.” Professor David Healy
Anatomy of an Epidemic Robert Whitaker
Explores the way psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry from the 1970s “remedicalised” psychiatry and developed their underlying myth that an ever expanding area of human distress is caused by illnesses that are just like physical illnesses and, therefore need treatment with medication. This is the background to an epidemic of psychological difficulties in recent years. Interwoven with Whitaker’s ground-breaking analysis of the merits of psychiatric medications are the personal stories children and adults swept up in this epidemic.
The Checklist Manifesto; how to get things right Atul Gawande
Describes the use of simple, brief checklists in surgery, construction, flying etc and shows how they improve performance in complex tasks. Full of rich detail and anecdotes that make it very readable. It raises the question of whether individuals could use a similar approach to improve the quality of their lives and whether checklists could change the way mental health services are delivered.
Consolations of Philosophy Alain de Botton
The Myth of Mental Illness Thomas Szasz
Need Your Doctor Be So Useless Andrew Malleson