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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

We need to rethink the conversation around mental health.

Public awareness of mental illness has been transformed in recent years, but our understanding of what it actually is has yet to catch up. Too often, psychiatric disorders are confused with the inherent stresses and challenges of human experience. A narrative has taken hold that a mental health crisis has been building among young people in recent years - one that, with the arrival of Covid-19, is set to get far worse.

In this profoundly sensitive 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 subjected to greater stress, exacerbated by social media, than ever before? Foulkes shows that both perspectives are useful but limited. As the effects of the pandemic take hold, the real question in need of answering is: how should we distinguish between 'normal' suffering and actual illness?

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the scientific and clinical literature, Foulkes explains what is known about mental health problems - how they arise, why they so often appear during adolescence, the various tools we have to cope with them - but also what remains unclear: distinguishing between normality and disorder is essential if we are to provide the appropriate help, but no clear line between the two exists in nature. She presents the argument that the widespread misunderstanding of this aspect of mental illness might actually be contributing to its apparent prevalence.

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

©2020 Lucy Foulkes (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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  • 24-04-21

Interesting

The part I liked best was where it was stated that it is safe to talk about suicide.

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Excellent read on mental health for anyone!

This book made me cry, think, discuss with others and it eventually left me with a glimmer of hope that things are looking brighter! The author explains one of the most elusive and complicated topics -- mental health and illness -- with great skill, honesty, attention to detail and criticism. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand and improve our approach to mental health, both as a topic of scientific research and in practice!

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A really clear and concise presentation of mental illness.

This book is exactly where I would tell anyone who knows somebody struggling with a disorder to start. It embraces all the nuances that many pieces of literature on the subject reject in favour of shock and extremes. The irony is that these nuances are exactly what provides clarity on the subject.

Lucy reads in a warm and calming manner which is aided by her willingness to share her own experiences as well.

A brilliant book and one that I think is going to be a go to for many in the future.

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Articulate and insightful

This is the book I’ve been waiting for, and indeed I think many are waiting for. It asks and answers so many important questions about our mental health - what it is, why and how things go wrong, and what cam be done about that. Articulate and insightful, this was a great listen, and nicely read by the author herself.

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An insight into how we need to view mental health

Rightly so, mental health must be spoken about freely and openly. But, like all things in life, a balance needs to be struck between understanding the difference between illness and the everyday stresses of living. Too often and to the detriment of genuine illness the two become blurred. This well written and objective book discusses brilliantly why we need to realise that not every anxiety, not every stress, not every down day is illness: it's simply living. Then those that need it, will have a greater chance receiving help.