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Dr. Nassir Ghaemi

Nassir Ghaemi (@nassirghaemi) is a psychiatrist and researcher specializing in depression and bipolar illness.

He is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, a Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

He has published over 200 scientific articles, over 50 scientific book chapters, and has written or edited over half a dozen books, including the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, the New York Times Best-Seller “A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness”.

In today’s episode we discuss the subject of Psychobiography and the methods involved in learning to understand the psychology of historical figures, we explore the link between manic depressive illness and leadership through examples such as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, why mentally normal politicians make for good peacetime leaders but poor crisis leaders, and how people with mental illness can learn to channel their illness into something positive.

Related Links

NassirGhaemi.com – Nassir’s web site

Mood Swings – Nassir’s blog at Psychology Today

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Nasir Ghaemi / Penguin Press / Nicole Laroche

Prof. Graham Davey

Graham Davey (@GrahamCLDavey) is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex.

Graham has published over 140 articles in scientific and professional journals, has served as President of the British Psychological Society, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Experimental Psychopathology and Psychopathology Review.

He is the author of the Psychology Today blog “Why We Worry”, and he has written or edited a number of books including “Worry and its Psychological Disorders”, “Managing Anxiety with CBT For Dummies”, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “The Anxiety Epidemic: The Causes of our Modern-Day Anxieties”.

In today’s episode we discuss the difference between anxiety disorder and plain old worry, the evolutionary origins and advantages of anxiety, how the nature of our anxiety has changed across the generations, why anxiety tends to manifest in different ways in different people, common causes of anxiety in the modern world and whether or not there really is an epidemic, and of course some tips and advice on what you can do to reduce your own anxiety.

This episode has 10 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

Papers from Sidcup – Graham’s website

Why We Worry: Where anxiety comes from and what we can do about it – Graham’s blog at Psychology Today

Contact Graham Direct: grahamda@sussex.ac.uk

The English Malady by George Cheyne via Archive.org

Book Recommendations

                    

Image courtesy: Mark Turnauckas

Prof. Greg Eghigian

Greg Eghigian, is Associate Professor of Modern History and former Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Penn State University.

He is the editor and author of numerous books, including “From Madness to Mental Health: Psychiatric Disorder and its Treatment in Western Civilization“, and the forthcoming “Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health“. He is also co-founding editor of the scholarly blog, H-Madness, and Section Editor for Psychiatric Times History of Psychiatry.

In today’s episode we trace the history of mental illness from ancient Palestine, and the Greek physician Hippocrates, right the way up to Prozac and self-help gurus.

On the way we encounter exorcisms, bloodletting, witch doctors, magic spells, Islamic hospitals, mental asylums, country house retreats, Sigmund Freud, the advent of pharmacology, deinstitutionalization and the rise of psychotherapy.

Special thanks to Allison Foerschner whose brilliant article “The History of Mental Illness: From Skull Drills to Happy Pills” inspired this episode.

 

Greg’s Recommended Links

H-Madness – A blog exploring the history of madness

Books Mentioned in This Episode

          

 

Image courtesy: Wikimedia