Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness
Joel Gold, Ian Gold
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A “clear, witty, and engaging” (The Boston Globe) journey through the brain that connects neuroscience, biology, and culture. An “intellectual landmark” (Edward Shorter, Literary Review of Canada).
The current view of delusions—the strange beliefs held by people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses—is that they are the result of biology gone awry, of neurons in the brain misfiring. In Suspicious Minds, Dr. Joel Gold and his brother Ian Gold argue that delusions are the result of the interaction between the brain and the social world. They present “a dual broadside: against a psychiatric profession that has become infatuated with neuroscience as part of its longstanding attempt to establish itself as ‘real medicine,’ and against a culture that has become too networked for its own good” (The New York Times). The book “amounts to nothing less than a frontal—or perhaps pre-frontal—challenge to the dominant view of modern psychiatry, which looks to neuroscience to explain disorders of the mind” (The Washington Post).
In “a droll Oliver Sacksian tone” (The Village Voice), the Golds reveal intriguing case studies: the man who was dead and in hell, the woman who could raise the dead at Ground Zero, the man who killed God, and the people who believed they were like the characters in the film The Truman Show. These “page-turning case studies” (New Republic) of delusion “offer a fascinating and intimate portrait of psychosis” (Scientific American). “They provide more proof that no fantasist can hope to match the wonders—and horrors—of the human mind” (The Washington Post).
avoidance to sustained threat.” Behavioural Brain Research 257: 148–55. Schmidt M. “Gunman said electronic brain attacks drove him to violence, F.B.I. says.” New York Times. September 16, 2013. Consulted October 13, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/us/shooter-believed-mind-was-under-attack-official-says.html. Schomerus G, D Heider, M Angermeyer, P Bebbington, J Azorin, T Brugha, M Toumi. 2008. “Urban residence, victimhood and the appraisal of personal safety in people with schizophrenia:
Lodge, John Kafka, an interpersonal analyst, recalled it as a place where the staff believed that there were healthy as well as psychotic aspects of their patients’ minds and that both required attention. Kafka invokes the ethos of the participant-observer: “In retrospect, I think that those of us interested in being therapists of psychotics in some way resembled a group of anthropologists who wanted to understand and to find a way of communicating with the inhabitants of psychosis-land.” Like
hallucination-prone the viewer, the longer they estimated the displays of angry faces to be; no other emotions were associated with time distortions. Because people tend to overestimate the passage of time when they are emotionally aroused, the experiment demonstrates a relationship between hallucination-proneness and sensitivity to anger. Persecutory delusions are also correlated with the presence of threat-related cognitive distortions. In one study, participants were asked to remember
relevance of discrimination comes from the one study included in the meta-analysis that didn’t find an immigrant effect, a study of children of European immigrants to Israel. This group may be an outlier because, as the authors note, European Jewish immigrants are more likely to feel like minorities in their home country than in Israel, and they are not typically victims of discrimination when they migrate. In contrast, two other studies carried out in Israel found an immigrant effect among
“Suspicion System,” the purpose of which is early detection of the threat of exploitation. The Suspicion System is a specialized form of cognition, directed at dangerous others, that is highly sensitive, as we’ll see, to their malicious intents. A number of investigators in evolutionary psychiatry have defended the idea that persecutory delusions may be an outcome of social threats in the evolutionary past. Our goal is to show how this view forms part of a larger account of delusions THE