Falling Into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis [NOOK Book]

Overview

Falling Into the Fire is psychiatrist Christine Montross’s thoughtful investigation of the gripping patient encounters that have challenged and deepened her practice. The majority of the patients Montross treats in Falling Into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the ...
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Falling Into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis

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Overview

Falling Into the Fire is psychiatrist Christine Montross’s thoughtful investigation of the gripping patient encounters that have challenged and deepened her practice. The majority of the patients Montross treats in Falling Into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the hospital incite the frustration of the staff, leading Montross to examine how emotion can interfere with proper care. A recent college graduate, dressed in a tunic and declaring that love emanates from everything around him, is brought to the ER by his concerned girlfriend. Is it ecstasy or psychosis? What legal ability do doctors have to hospitalize—and sometimes medicate—a patient against his will? A new mother is admitted with incessant visions of harming her child. Is she psychotic and a danger or does she suffer from obsessive thoughts? Her course of treatment—and her child’s future—depends upon whether she receives the correct diagnosis.



Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. A doctor of uncommon curiosity and compassion, Montross discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling Into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment.



Throughout, Montross confronts the larger question of psychiatry: What is to be done when a patient’s experiences cannot be accounted for, or helped, by what contemporary medicine knows about the brain? When all else fails, Montross finds, what remains is the capacity to abide, to sit with the desperate in their darkest moments. At once rigorous and meditative, Falling Into the Fire is an intimate portrait of psychiatry, allowing the reader to witness the humanity of the practice and the enduring mysteries of the mind






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Editorial Reviews

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"Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result." The resilience of this quote (which has been misattributed to Einstein, Mark Twain, and Benjamin Franklin) exposes our endless fascination with the roots of madness and psychological problems. Psychiatrist and author Christine Montross (Body of Work) approaches the subject in ways that preclude simplistic aphorisms. In fact, her Falling Into the Fire reveals the often disturbing diversity of mental illness and similar appearing behaviors. Her stories of psychiatric ward patients are rendered with clarity and a deep sense of humanity, making this book much more than a cabinet of curiosities. Editor's recommendation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101617786
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 108,639
  • File size: 493 KB

Meet the Author



Dr. Christine Montross is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and Co-director of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Scholarly Concentration at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  She is also a practicing inpatient psychiatrist. Dr. Montross’s previous book, Body of Work, was named an Editors' Choice by The New York Times and one of The Washington Post's best nonfiction books of 2007. She and her partner, the playwright Deborah Salem Smith, live in Rhode Island with their two young children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2013

    More technical....almost too much so

    I read Dr. Montross' first book shortly after it was mentioned in Brown Med the magazine of what was the Brown Medical School.

    I thoroughly enjoyed her successes and traumas with anatomy class.

    This book is much more technical and a little harder to read. Not the stuff to try to read on a busy day or at a busy time of the year.

    I'll have to go back to it several times before I finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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