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  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847926395
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $29.99

Losing Our Minds

What Mental Illness Really Is – and What It Isn’t




A vital corrective and accessible guide to the science of mental illness

We need to rethink the conversation around mental illness.

Public awareness of mental illness has been transformed in recent years, but our understanding has yet to catch up. Too often, psychiatric disorders are confused with the mental pain of normal human experience, and a misleading narrative has taken hold that a crisis of mental illness exists among young people - now set to get far worse.

In this profoundly empathetic and constructive book, psychologist Lucy Foulkes argues that the crisis is one of ignorance as much as illness. Have we raised a 'snowflake' generation? Or are today's young people experiencing greater stress, enhanced by social media, than ever before? Foulkes shows that both perspectives are useful but limited. The real question in need of answering is: how do we distinguish between severe suffering and actual illness?

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the scientific and clinical literature, Foulkes explains what is known about mental illness and what remains unclear - how it arises, why it appears mainly during adolescence, the various tools we have to cope with it - and presents the argument that widespread, simplistic misconceptions about the nature of mental illness might actually be contributing to its prevalence.

Losing Our Minds provides both the clarity and the nuance that are so urgently needed.

  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847926395
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Lucy Foulkes

Dr Lucy Foulkes was a lecturer in psychology at the University of York from 2018 until 2020, when became an associate editor and staff writer at Aeon. She has written for the Guardian and The Conversation, has appeared in BBC television programmes about mental illness and hosted a month long residency at the Science Museum. Losing Our Minds is her first book.

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