Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness
|Author:||Harriet A. Washington|
Is it possible to catch autism or OCD the same way we catch the flu? Can a child's contact with cat litter lead to schizophrenia? In her eye-opening new book, Harriet Washington, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Medical Apartheid, reveals that we can in fact "catch" mental illness. In INFECTIOUS MADNESS, Washington presents the new germ theory, which posits that many instances of Alzheimer's, OCD, and schizophrenia are caused by viruses, prions, and bacteria, and that with antibiotics, vaccinations, and other strategies, these cases can be easily prevented or treated. Packed with cutting-edge research and tantalizing mysteries, INFECTIOUS MADNESS is rich in science, characters, and practical advice on how to protect yourself and your children from exposure to infectious threats that could sabotage your mental and physical health.
"In Infectious Madness, Harriet Washington confirms her position as one of our most thought-provoking medical writers. Led by Washington on a whirlwind tour of early modern medicine in the 18th century, germ theory, Western anorexia, African sleeping sickness, schizophrenia, and everywhere else, we will forever be unable to think of our microbial environment in the same way. The same, for that matter, might be said of our view of the social environment in which the collective enterprise of medicine transpires." Samuel Roberts, PhD, Director, Columbia University Institute for Research in African-American Studies, and Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health"
Harriet A. Washington, Shearing Fellow at the University of Nevada's Black Mountain Institute, has been a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University She has held fellowships at the Harvard School of Public Health, Stanford University and DePaul University College of Law. She wrote Deadly Monopolies and Medical Apartheid, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award.