Angst: Origins of Anxiety and Depression

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9780199796441: Angst: Origins of Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depressive Subtypes Evolved from Primal Altruistic Instincts     In this path-breaking volume, engagingly written for the general public, psychiatrist Jeffrey Kahn reveals that the Angst of anxiety and depression ultimately results from our transformation, over tens of thousands of years, from biologically shaped, almost herd-like prehistoric tribes, to rational and independent individuals in modern civilization. Because of our Reason, we don't choose to act like sheep.
     Kahn looks at five basic types of modern-day angst--Panic Anxiety, Social Anxiety, OCD, Atypical Depression, and Melancholic Depression--and shows how each derives from primeval social instincts that once helped our ancestors survive. For instance, the "panic disorder" which prevents some people from flying may have originally evolved to keep our tribal ancestors from traveling dangerously far from home. Likewise, the increased emotional sensitivity to social rejection that now triggers episodes of "atypical depression" may have helped maintain polite behavior and social harmony in our ancestors. Our distinctly human civilization and rational consciousness lets us defy these social instincts. But those over-ridden instincts can resurface as stressful emotional disorders. Kahn notes that some of us painfully tackle this distress head-on, in ways that can advance intellectual creativity, social performance and productivity. He also describes the interplay of instinct with the advance of civilization, and on how evolutionary perspective explains why modern treatments work. 
     Ranging from Darwin and Freud to the most cutting-edge medical and scientific findings--drawing from ancient writings, modern humor and popular lyrics, and with many amusing cartoons--Angst offers us an exciting new slant on some of the most pervasive mental health issues of our time.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey P. Kahn, M.D.'s novel and elegant evolutionary theory of Anxiety and Depression draws on his academic work on anxiety disorders, workplace mental health, and precision diagnosis, and most especially upon observations from clinical practice. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University Medical School, he is now Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College, and works in Manhattan and Westchester County.

Review:


"Why does mental illness persist when it would seem to be counterproductive in an evolutionary sense? Kahn argues that certain traits that promote group fitness can, in a modern context and if exaggerated, manifest as serious mental illness . . . A lively presentation." --Library Journal

"An amazingly insightful and timely book, Angst will make you think and rethink the way our brains deal with anxiety and tragedy." -- Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD is a cancer physician and researcher at Columbia University. His book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction.

"Most of the theorists who study mental illness through the lens of evolution have never seen a patient themselves. This is what makes Dr. Kahn's approach unique. Dr. Kahn refracts theory through his rich experience as a clinician and the result is a thesis on evolutionary psychiatry that is both conceptually rich and pragmatically valuable." -- Sally Satel, MD, Yale University psychiatry faculty, popular author One Nation Under Therapy; PC, MD and regular Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

"This remarkable book presents a revolutionary and counter-intuitive theory of anxiety and depression. This theory reflects the author's careful clinical observations over decades of outstanding individual psychiatric care, and from his vital work in dealing with 'the wounded workplace.' This landmark book is a must read for everyone interested in mental health, evolution - or in humankind." -- Richard K. Harding, MD, Past-President, American Psychiatric Association, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

"Kahn is a highly experienced clinician and researcher, and he offers some of the soundest, most up-to-date advice available about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness." -- Peter D. Kramer, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and author of Listening to Prozac and Against Depression.

"Jeffrey Kahn offers a novel and comprehensive evolutionary theory on the adaptive value of anxiety and depressive disorders. His insight into the social instincts in animal herds is compelling and is nicely integrated with psychiatric research and clinical observations. This is an outstanding book for the inquisitive reader, and a milestone in translating evolutionary theory into a new understanding of common psychiatric illnesses." -- Eric Hollander, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, author of Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Textbook of Anxiety Disorders, and Coping with Social Anxiety Disorder, and International Expert on Psychiatric Diagnosis and Neuropsychopharmacology

"I was intrigued by the evolutionary psychiatric explanation... make sense when you think about them from that perspective - emotional disorders arising from the conflict between societal instincts and our consciousness. It definitely got me to think about these problems in a different way, which will be useful to both me and my patients... well written with humor and insight... 4 Stars!" - Doody's Book Review Service

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Jeffrey P. Kahn
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ISBN 10: 0199796440 ISBN 13: 9780199796441
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why do so many people suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous angst? Some twenty percent of us are afflicted with common Anxiety and Depressive disorders. That s not just nervous or scared or sad - that is painful dysfunction without obvious benefit. This angst comes from an evolutionary inheritance that biologically shaped us into social communities. There are just five specific diagnostic subtypes that account for most of this modern-day angst: Panic Anxiety, Social Anxiety, OCD, Atypical Depression and Melancholic Depression. Each of the five comes from primeval social instincts that told our ancestors how to improve survival of their community DNA. These instincts are also very much alive and unfettered in other species today. Their potential link to our human distress was anticipated by both Darwin and Freud. We humans have greater instinctive consciousness than other creatures. Rational thoughts let us defy biological social instructions. One result of this uniquely human skill is that over-ridden social instincts complain to us in the painful language of emotional disorders. A few of us even tackle this pain head-on, in ways that can advance our intellectual creativity, social performance, and productivity. Our human intellectual abilities owe as much to our unique social software as to our greater brain processing power. Civilization is built upon our ability to maintain social harmony with ethics and government, and to find solace in technology, religion and beer. This novel theoretical synthesis offers a new framework for understanding what our knowledge of psychiatric neuroscience, clinical research, diagnosis and treatment. The central theory is explained in everyday language. It is supported by clinical observation, straightforward accounts of complex science, animal research, and quotes from both ancient writings and modern humor and lyrics. This fascinating new synthesis is written for the general public, mental health professionals and academic researchers alike. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780199796441

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Jeffrey P. Kahn
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why do so many people suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous angst? Some twenty percent of us are afflicted with common Anxiety and Depressive disorders. That s not just nervous or scared or sad - that is painful dysfunction without obvious benefit. This angst comes from an evolutionary inheritance that biologically shaped us into social communities. There are just five specific diagnostic subtypes that account for most of this modern-day angst: Panic Anxiety, Social Anxiety, OCD, Atypical Depression and Melancholic Depression. Each of the five comes from primeval social instincts that told our ancestors how to improve survival of their community DNA. These instincts are also very much alive and unfettered in other species today. Their potential link to our human distress was anticipated by both Darwin and Freud. We humans have greater instinctive consciousness than other creatures. Rational thoughts let us defy biological social instructions. One result of this uniquely human skill is that over-ridden social instincts complain to us in the painful language of emotional disorders. A few of us even tackle this pain head-on, in ways that can advance our intellectual creativity, social performance, and productivity. Our human intellectual abilities owe as much to our unique social software as to our greater brain processing power. Civilization is built upon our ability to maintain social harmony with ethics and government, and to find solace in technology, religion and beer. This novel theoretical synthesis offers a new framework for understanding what our knowledge of psychiatric neuroscience, clinical research, diagnosis and treatment. The central theory is explained in everyday language. It is supported by clinical observation, straightforward accounts of complex science, animal research, and quotes from both ancient writings and modern humor and lyrics. This fascinating new synthesis is written for the general public, mental health professionals and academic researchers alike. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780199796441

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Descrizione libro 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Hardcover. Some twenty percent of us are afflicted with common anxiety and depressive disorders?not just brief bouts of nervousness or sorrow, but painful dysfunctions without obvious benefit. .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 294 pages. 0.522. Codice libro della libreria 9780199796441

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