Good Reasons for Bad Feelings

Good Reasons for Bad Feelings Insights from the Frontier of Evolutionary Psychiatry

Hardback (12 Feb 2019)

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Synopsis

Highly accessible, scholarly and deeply illuminating . . . this will become a treasured classic; not just for clinicians but for all those interested in how to facilitate well-being and create more moral communities and societies.
Professor Paul Gilbert, founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation

One of the world's most respected psychiatrists provides a much-needed new evolutionary framework for making sense of mental illness

With his classic book Why We Get Sick, Randolph Nesse established the field of evolutionary medicine. Now he returns with a book that transforms our understanding of mental disorders by exploring a fundamentally new question. Instead of asking why certain people suffer from mental illness, Nesse asks why natural selection has left us with fragile minds at all.

Drawing on revealing stories from his own clinical practice and insights from evolutionary biology, Nesse shows how negative emotions are useful in certain situations, yet can become excessive. Anxiety protects us from harm in the face of danger, but false alarms are inevitable. Low mood prevents us from wasting effort in pursuit of unreachable goals, but it often escalates into pathological depression. Other mental disorders, such as addiction and anorexia, result from the mismatch between modern environments and our ancient human past. Taken together, these insights and many more help to explain the pervasiveness of human suffering, and show us new paths for relieving it.

Good Reasons for Bad Feelings will fascinate anyone who wonders how our minds can be so powerful, yet so fragile, and how love and goodness came to exist in organisms shaped to maximize Darwinian fitness.

About the Publisher

Allen Lane

Allen Lane

In 1967 Penguin's founder started an eponymous hardback imprint under the name of Allen Lane. This now has a dynamic, growing list and publishes accessible and quality non-fiction books of lasting value.

Book information

ISBN: 9780241291085
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint: Allen Lane
Pub date:
DEWEY: 616.89001
DEWEY edition: 23
Number of pages: xiii, 363
Weight: 596g
Height: 245mm
Width: 165mm
Spine width: 36mm