Good Reasons for Bad Feelings

Good Reasons for Bad Feelings

Insights from the Frontier of Evolutionary Psychiatry

Randolph M. Nesse, MD

$14.99

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Description

A founder of the field of evolutionary medicine uses his decades of experience as a psychiatrist to provide a much-needed new framework for making sense of mental illness.

Why do I feel bad? There is real power in understanding our bad feelings. With his classic Why We Get Sick, Dr. Randolph Nesse helped to establish the field of evolutionary medicine. Now he returns with a book that transforms our understanding of mental disorders by exploring a fundamentally new question. Instead of asking why certain people suffer from mental illness, Nesse asks why natural selection has left us all with fragile minds.
 
Drawing on revealing stories from his own clinical practice and insights from evolutionary biology, Nesse shows how negative emotions are useful in certain situations, yet can become overwhelming. Anxiety protects us from harm in the face of danger, but false alarms are inevitable. Low moods prevent us from wasting effort in pursuit of unreachable goals, but they often escalate into pathological depression. Other mental disorders, such as addiction and anorexia, result from the mismatch between modern environment and our ancient human past. And there are good evolutionary reasons for sexual disorders and for why genes for schizophrenia persist. Taken together, these and many more insights help to explain the pervasiveness of human suffering, and show us new paths for relieving it by understanding individuals as individuals.


Author

Randolph M. Nesse, MD:
Randolph M. Nesse, MD, is a founder of the field of evolutionary medicine and co-author with George C. Williams of Why We Get Sick. He served for many years as Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychology and Research Professor at the University of Michigan. He currently is the Founding Director of the Center for Evolution & Medicine at Arizona State University where he is also a Foundation Professor in the School of Life Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, a distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and an elected Fellow of the AAAS.

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