Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do

Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do

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by David Theodore George, Lisa Berger
     
 

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Free yourself from emotional turmoileven when that turmoil is caused by others!

We have a much greater understanding of human behavior now than we did just a few decades ago. Yet even with this greater understanding of the human mind, why we do what we do can sometimes seem like a mystery. People are often left with unsettling questions about their own (or

Overview

Free yourself from emotional turmoileven when that turmoil is caused by others!

We have a much greater understanding of human behavior now than we did just a few decades ago. Yet even with this greater understanding of the human mind, why we do what we do can sometimes seem like a mystery. People are often left with unsettling questions about their own (or others') behavior.

We ask ourselves, Why did I make a spectacle of myself? Why am I so stressed? Why am I constantly so negative?

In his years as a clinician, Dr. Ted George has been struck by how much easier it is for people to say they have a physical illness than it is to admit they feel out of control with an emotion—be it anger, fear, or depression. With a physical issue, you have the source of the problem in concrete terms, such as in a lab report, but with an emotional issue, it can be much harder to define what's gone wrong. Untangling the Mind helps make sense of what's happening—and why. With knowledge of how the brain translates sensory signals into emotions, you will increase your understanding of your own—and others'—behaviors. As you learn about your psychological and neurological makeup, you will begin to see new possibilities for optimism, motivation, and well-being.

We can control our behavior and our feelings, no matter how much they may have ruled us in the past, and Dr. George helps us know how. Once you understand the deeply rooted instincts that activate your emotions, you can live more peacefully, behave in ways that are more in keeping with the person you'd like to be, and enjoy your life more fully. And you'll be better able to remain unaffected by the drama of other people's emotional storms.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062127785
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
893,322
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Ted George, M.D., board-certified in psychiatry and internal medicine, is an associate clinical director at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. George has presented before numerous professional groups, such as the American Psychiatric Association, American Neuropsychiatric Association, and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.


Lisa Berger has written numerous popular nonfiction books, most of which deal with psychiatry, mental illness, and neuroscience.

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Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Michael_Lee_Stallard More than 1 year ago
In "Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do," D. Theodore George, M.D., a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, describes a new model for understanding America's surge in emotional and behavioral disorders.  Earlier this year, a report by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies found that comparing a peer group of 17 wealthy countries, Americans under 50 now have the lowest life expectancy and fall at the bottom (i.e. were the worst) of nearly every morbidity category from deaths by substance abuse, sexual-related diseases, infant mortality, violence and sedentary lifestyles that contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular problems. The report points out that in the years following World War II, America was near or at the top of the peer group.  It rightly concludes that something clearly is wrong but, unfortunately, fails to provide a satisfactory explanation.  The problem has become so acute that last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released figures that show suicide rates haven sharply increased so that more Americans now die from suicide than from motor vehicle accidents. Fortunately, Dr. George's book helps us understand what's going wrong.  In his view, traumas experienced by 75 percent of the population result in faulty brain wiring that makes people vulnerable to the stressors, threats and fears we experience in modern life.  The faulty wiring misinterprets threats and fears by blowing them way out of proportion.  This results in emotional and behavioral disorders including anger that triggers the fight response, fear that triggers the flight response, depression that triggers shutdown and an absence of emotional anger that triggers predatory behavior.  When people don't feel well emotionally - i.e. they are angry, anxious, withdrawn, depressed, etc. - they frequently cope in ways that result in addiction (e.g. substance abuse, promiscuity, porn addiction, eating disorders, cutting).  Although these addictive behaviors provide temporary relief, they hijack the brain's reward system and eventually kick in the anti-reward system so that people need a fix of the coping behavior to feel better from the unpleasant sensations of withdrawal. In the last part of the book, Dr. George describes how he helps his patients.  He uses "talk therapy" to connect with them and teach them so they understand what's going wrong, he coaches them to help develop a plan that features neutral or healthy habits that replace unhealthy ones, and he encourages them to persevere until new healthy habits are formed.  There are many useful parts of the book including Dr. George's model (focusing on the periaqueductal gray or "PAG" part of the brain), a list of threats and fears which trigger emotional and behavioral disorders, and descriptions of healthy behaviors that can be used to replace unhealthy ones. My summary doesn't do the book justice so I highly recommend that anyone who is struggling with emotional or behavioral disorders, and for those who care about them, get this book and read it.  "Untangling the Mind" is a valuable new resource that provides insight and practical advice to help the many Americans today who are struggling with emotional and behavioral disorders. Note: In the spirit of full disclosure you should know that I write, speak and teach about reducing stress in the workplace so when I heard about this book I contacted the publisher, HarperOne, and requested, and was sent, a free review copy to consider writing about it.