Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness

Infectious Madness The Surprising Science of How We Catch Mental Illness A groundbreaking look at the connection between germs and mental illness and how we can protect ourselves Is it possible to catch autism or OCD the same way we catch the flu Can a child s contact wit

  • Title: Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness
  • Author: Harriet A. Washington
  • ISBN: 9780316277808
  • Page: 253
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A groundbreaking look at the connection between germs and mental illness, and how we can protect ourselves 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, National Book Critics Circle Award winning author Harriet Washington reveals that we can in fact catch menA groundbreaking look at the connection between germs and mental illness, and how we can protect ourselves 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, National Book Critics Circle Award winning author Harriet Washington reveals that we can in fact catch mental illness In INFECTIOUS MADNESS, Washington presents the new germ theory, which posits not only that many instances of Alzheimer s, OCD, and schizophrenia are caused by viruses, prions, and bacteria, but also 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.

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      Published :2018-05-02T18:13:40+00:00

    1 thought on “Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness”

    1. Picking up this book for a precise reason, which was to learn more about PANDAS. It's a condition that presents (rarely but increasing)within children. One day the 8 or 10 year old is completely normal, the next week showing progressive symptoms of hallucinatory or wildly emotive swings of fear, OCD, paranoia- generally insane scale conditions. Brain functions and perceptions definitively involved.I've become a fan of the TV show on the Animal Planet channel called "Monsters Within US". And afte [...]

    2. I have a longstanding interest in the biological underpinnings of mental illness and so couldn’t resist checking out Harriet Washington’s Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness from the library when I first learned of it earlier this month. As the title implies, the book delves into a large body of research pointing to an infectious cause behind many cases of so-called mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and OCD. With cool rat [...]

    3. This may sound outrageous at first. The suggestion that mental illness, currently an epidemic in modern society, can be caused by bacteria and pathogens like a common cold is nearly unheard of. Getting schizophrenia from a cat? Developing anorexia after getting strep throat, or even depression from bacteria in your stomach?While it seems strange, there are some truths to be found. For example, before the discovery of penicillin curing syphilis, a large quantity of people in mental institutions w [...]

    4. Combining a thorough review of medical and psychiatric research results with engaging case studies, Harriet Washington presents a compelling case for the biological basis of prevalent mental health disorders. Cases of autism, schizophrenia, Tourette's, and other mental health disorders have been found to be caused, at least partially, by biological means (bacteria and viruses). Washington illustrates how these biological agents, in combination with genetics, environmental factors, and general he [...]

    5. I loved this book. Washington does a great job using history, research, and other various cases to link infections with certain psychological illnesses. One thing I like about her style of writing is you can tell she does a lot of homework and research on the subjects she is talking about. She doesn't just bring new ideas to the table, but ideas that have existed that maybe haven't been fully explained in strong detail by a majority of people in the scientific community. The scientific community [...]

    6. I found this book fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the section on pre-Freudian ideas and treatment of mental illness. My only criticism would be an over use on reporting on the reporting of studies, rather than reporting on the studies directly. At times it can be two levels of bias on a study rather than one. But still thoroughly engaging and I would recommend this book to others.

    7. 3.5 starsOver the last few months, I have been researching this and related topics. This is a good introductory synthesis about the human microbiome and how it plays into physical and mental health. A good place to start to learn more.

    8. I won a free copy from the First Reads Giveaway Program and think that it interesting. I would recommend it to everyone.

    9. 3.5 stars. Some really fascinating and intriguing ideas in this book, but the information was presented in a haphazard way that I think can detract from the message. Still, very much worth reading and I appreciate knowing that there are people willing to look outside of psychotropic medication box when it comes to mental illness.

    10. Disjointed AgendaIt would have been nice if Washington could have managed to stick to ethical investigative journalism and perhaps kept to the topic at hand, the theory of how various pathogens cause mental illness. It would have been a lofty goal at that because the topic itself is so vast. But Washington did a poor job of even trying. My one burning question is who is the true author of this book?Deviating from the subject many times over, Washington goes off on multiple axes to grind such as [...]

    11. This is a heavy book. I was attracted by the title and thought it might be easy reading. Well it was not. It turns out this book was part of the author's Master's thesis. It was, therefore, a scholarly work. I learned a lot from this book and in particular a lot about the mind body connection. Would I recommend this book? If you are fascinated by medicine and treatment methodology this book is for you. Otherwise? Hmm

    12. This is a great book on how some disorders may arise from infections. For example, strep throat in young children can result in OCD or anorexia. But her conclusions are not limited to medical disorders. She also has a chapter on cultural disorders. ( Hitler + Jews = Trump + Muslims? <- my parallel) I recommend reading "Brain on fire" by Susannah Calahan, a personal memoir related to this topic.

    13. Seriously. Read this book. My life has been rescued because a few brave doctors have begun to understand how a virus or infection can truly attack your brain in such a way you seem completely mad.

    14. OutstandingI learned so much and have so many more questions. Well researched and written, but it seems tip of the iceberg?

    15. This was a wonderful book. I found the new theroy so interesting. We all need to read this book in order to protect ourselves.

    16. Fascinating Idea; Sloppy ApproachThe idea that a variety of severe mental illnesses "may also be caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses" is not new, but it is gaining some attention. Very interesting stuff. I was hoping this would be some good science writing for the lay reader, but the attempt to sensationalize the topic is as off-putting as the writing style. Style first: my heart sank by page 10, when "Dressed in khaki pants and a T-shirt," was footnoted. This is a red flag for self-import [...]

    17. Fascinating book, arguing the case for infectious causes of a large percentage of mental illnesses. Sometimes I felt the author was stretching to make the point, and it puzzled me that she would recommend "mandatory" influenza shots but not other vaccines, for other diseases that also contribute to mental disorders. Or that she would say that pregnant women should not get the flu vaccine because it is the immune system's response that does the damage--but surely that response would be much great [...]

    18. I give one star because of the obvious bias in the text. For example, the author, when making a point about infection in early term v late term pregnancy, states something to the effect of: [virus name] infections during the first trimester of pregnancy resulted in a 700% increase in [resulting disease] where as an infection during the final trimester resulted in just a 3 fold increase, according to such and such study. I was already skeptical about some of the claims leading up to this point, b [...]

    19. I enjoyed this book a lot. That being said it did take me over a year to read it. This book is dense with information and if you try to learn/memorize as much as you can the book will take longer. It is amazing in it's possible world changing views, but disappointing on that the world may still not get it.

    20. I purchase this book to learn more about PANDAS. However, the author covers a broad range of topics. At times, I felt as if I were reading the unedited brainstorming version of the book. To many loose thoughts lacking supportive data. In order to be insightful, Washington needs to add tons of more material. I could easily see adding 500 more pages to more complete discuss the ideas Washington throws out. 2 stars for some interesting ideas, but I wouldn't recommend this work.

    21. Did you know that there's now a medical link between viruses and bacteria, and psychiatric disorders such as anorexia, OCD and Tourette's? Did you know that having exposure to domestic cats increases the chances that someone in the household will be schizophrenic? Admittedly, the chances are still very small because there aren't that many schizophrenics occurring in the general population, but exposure does increase the odds.There were a few points made in the book that really made an impact on [...]

    22. Excellent! My fave quote from the book (yeah, I know it's long, but worth it):"[S]ome scientists ask whether humans might be biologically impelled [because of the fear of strangers' germs and parasites] to shun, drive off, or kill strangers or anyone who appears different. Such musings often hinge on political speculation or tortured data, and they typically involve some theory of a brain irrevocably hardwired by evolutionary force to persecute outsiders. This carries the whiff of something repu [...]

    23. The structure of this book is a bit uneven, but only because Washington doesn't really know the ending of this story. The research being described is so cutting edge, it's not always possible to know where the pieces fit together. The end result is that the book starts with a lot of momentum, but looses most of it by the end.I really like how Washington detailed the traditional separation of mind and body and what that meant for medical care. Syphilis is a great example for an infection that wea [...]

    24. Remarkably informative! I purchased this book at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, WA, an independent bookstore.

    25. This book addresses an idea that many people have probably never considered, that microorganisms such as bacteria could cause mental illness, that is to say that mental illness could be contagious. It is well researched, the writing has a lucid clarity to it and it does everything that good science writing should: it goes through history, into modern science, and combines personal stories and interviews.But, a lot of the book rests on barely a mirage of quicksand. There are fascinating threads o [...]

    26. This book was ok. I wish it had given more in depth discussion and explanations of things, there were definitely a lot of points where it would mention something and I'd be expecting more in the next paragraph and It would go on to another topic! But I think this is mostly due to there actually not being much more evidence or explanations for many of the topics covered here, I wish the author was more upfront about the relative strength of the studies presented, especially since this is for a la [...]

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