AN APPLE BOOKS PICK OF THE MONTH
“Masterfully written, distinctively researched, deeply humane . . . Genius.”—ANTHONY SWOFFORD, author of Jarhead
“A major contribution . . . A necessary book.”—JOHANN HARI, author of Lost Connections
“This book is a triumph of the spirit and the flesh.”—ELIZA GRISWOLD, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Amity and Prosperity
In this stunning debut—both a memoir and a work of investigative journalism—writer Sarah Fay explores the ways we pathologize human experiences.
Over thirty years, doctors diagnosed Sarah Fay with six different mental illnesses—anorexia, major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and bipolar disorder.Pathological is the gripping story of what it was like to live with those diagnoses, and the crippling impact each had on her life. It is also a rigorous investigation into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)—psychiatry’s “bible,” the manual from which all mental illness diagnoses come. Yet as Fay found out, some of our most prominent psychiatrists have been trying to warn us that the DSM is fiction sold to the public as fact.
In Pathological, former advisory editor at The Paris Review and award-winning writer Fay calls for a new conversation about mental health diagnosis, one based on rigorous transparency. With exquisite detail and a precise presentation of fact, she digs up her own life at the root to finally ask, Is a diagnosis a lifeline or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Powerful, mesmerizing, and unputdownable, Pathological sits alongside the other brave and inspiring classics of our time that explore a more intelligent, forgiving, and nuanced approach to human suffering.