The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases

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Overview

True stories are more bizarre than any fiction, and Dr. Gary Small knows this best. After thirty distinguished years of psychiatry and groundbreaking research on the human brain, Dr. Small has seen it all—now he is ready to open his office doors for the first time and tell all about the most mysterious, intriguing, and bizarre patients of his career.

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head is a spellbinding record of the doctor's most bewildering cases, from naked headstands and ...

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The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases

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Overview

True stories are more bizarre than any fiction, and Dr. Gary Small knows this best. After thirty distinguished years of psychiatry and groundbreaking research on the human brain, Dr. Small has seen it all—now he is ready to open his office doors for the first time and tell all about the most mysterious, intriguing, and bizarre patients of his career.

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head is a spellbinding record of the doctor's most bewildering cases, from naked headstands and hysterical blindness to fainting schoolgirls and self-amputations. It is an illuminating journey into the mind of a practicing psychiatrist and his life in medicine as it evolves over time—a behind-the-scenes look at the field and a variety of mental diseases as they've never been seen or diagnosed before. You'll find yourself exploring the puzzling eccentricities that make us human.

Often funny, sometimes tragic, and always compelling, Dr. Small takes you on a tour of his career that moves from the halls of a crowded inner-city Boston emergency room to the multimillion-dollar ski lodges of the nation's elite. In between, Dr. Small introduces a strange cast of true-life characters and conditions, while dealing with mysterious hysterical blindness, a man convinced that his penis is shrinking, secret double lives, and frighteningly psychotic romantic desires. His career and personal life come full circle when his own mentor becomes his patient, making Small realize that no one is beyond mental exploration—not even himself.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Psychiatrist Small (co-author: iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, 2009, etc.), director of the Memory and Aging Research Center at UCLA, tells the stories of his most intriguing cases.

The book, co-authored with his wife, Vorgan, begins in 1979, when as an insecure trainee in a Boston psychiatric clinic, Small attempted to help one of his first clients, an apparently neurotic housewife suffering from anxiety attacks. Not only was his diagnosis "off the mark"—she turned out to be a potentially dangerous, borderline psychotic—but he was misdirected by his "clueless" supervisor. This was his first lesson in learning to trust his own instincts and look beyond the obvious. Just months later, the naked lady of the title, who appeared to be psychotic, turned out to be a diabetic young actress suffering from an "amnesia-driven delirious state" induced by low brain sugar. The author's instant cure, a cup of orange juice, was followed by therapy to help her with lifestyle changes. A year later, an apparent incident of mass hysteria at a Boston school—students started fainting, "dropping like flies"—piqued his curiosity, and he volunteered to join a health-department investigative team. This led him to combine his clinical practice with ongoing research projects. Over the years, Small has studied mass hysteria, psychosomatic diseases, brain scanning and geriatric dementia, and he has pioneered in the development of brain-imaging technology to identify Alzheimer's disease. As a practicing psychiatrist with a specialty in geriatrics, the author's cases cover a wide terrain—e.g., a young man who developed hysterical blindness when he attempted to confront his father, a patient who shifted from a food disorder to becoming a shopaholic to an addiction to multiple psychotherapists—and Small writes with empathy and humor about the complexity of human relationships, reflecting on his lifelong struggle to help his clients gain insight and surmount their problems.

A highly personal but generally fascinating memoir spanning more than 30 years.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061803789
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 267
  • Sales rank: 683,966
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Gary Small is a professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the university’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. He and Gigi Vorgan are the authors of iBrain, The Memory Prescription, The Longevity Bible, and The Memory Bible.

Dr. Gary Small is a professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the university’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. He and Gigi Vorgan are the authors of iBrain, The Memory Prescription, The Longevity Bible, and The Memory Bible.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Very interesting!

    Psychiatrists have one of the most difficult jobs. They deserve the utmost respect and appreciation. I really enjoyed these stories!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011

    Not that bizarre...

    Interesting read, but the only thing bizarre about this book is the fact that none of the cases discussed were really all that strange. Sure, a few where, but the majority were semi-typical and a little boring. I was expecting much more from this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2010

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    Posted December 4, 2010

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    Posted May 17, 2011

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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    Posted December 22, 2010

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    Posted July 31, 2012

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    Posted October 11, 2010

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    Posted November 6, 2010

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    Posted July 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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