This book aims to open up the debate on mental disorders, to get people interested and talking, and to get them thinking. For example, what is schizophrenia? Why is it so common? Why does it affect human beings but not other animals? What might this tell us about our mind and body, language and creativity, music and religion? What are the boundaries between mental disorder and 'normality'? Is there a relationship between mental disorder and genius? These are some of the difficult but important questions that this book confronts, with the overarching aim of exploring what mental disorders can teach us about human nature and the human condition.
Preface to the Second Edition Introduction 1. Personality and personality disorders 2. Schizophrenia, the price for being human 3. Depression, the curse of the strong 4. Bipolar disorder, that fine madness 5. Anxiety, freedom, and death 6. Suicide Epilogue Notes Index