Genre: Smart Thinking / Psychology / Neurology
Age group: N/A
Author: Suzanne O’Sullivan
It’s All in Your Head follows the personal experiences of author Dr O’Sullivan through a neurology career as she encounters patients with psychosomatic illness whom are convinced that their symptoms have an organic (physical) cause. Knowing that it would be an injustice to misdiagnose these patients with a disease they do not have, resulting in a lifelong subscription to drugs they do not need, that ultimately cannot help them just for the convenience of both doctor and patience. This book highlights the personal struggles that any medical doctor is faced with when the training they received fails to account for the personal sensitivities of those patients whose symptoms do not fit into any disease diagnostic. Dr O’Sullivan touches on the devastating moments when giving patients the expectedly good news such as “you do not have a brain tumour”, “you definitely do not have epilepsy” leads to tears, angry outbursts and pleas to be tested again and again in the hope of a positive test result to finally classify and justify their pain. Personally I love the way this book is written as it explains the necessary history and information surrounding the stigma attached to psychological intervention. Dr O’Sullivan clearly explains the difference between people faking symptoms and the detrimental stigma those rare and fleeting people leave on the billions suffering from the subconscious pain genuinely felt by psychosomatic patients. The book offers understandable explanations for the possible reasons that psychosomatic symptoms may occur, and it leads the reader on a journey through the dilemma of acceptance, understanding and compassion for those people who would rather suffer life long paralysis, blindness, convulsions or blackouts because the word “psychologist” is too unbearable to face. A chilling story that highlights a real, ongoing, global issue.
I give this book 4/5 stars