Whispers: The Voices of Paranoia

Whispers: The Voices of Paranoia

4.5 12
by Ronald K. Siegel
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Combining the insights of a gifted research scientist with vivid tales that are usually the realm of the novelist, Dr. Ronald Siegel lets his readers experience the suspicion, terror, and rage that possess the mind of the paranoid. This is the first book to investigate the actual experience of paranoia and to demonstrate that under the right conditions — drugs…  See more details below

Overview

Combining the insights of a gifted research scientist with vivid tales that are usually the realm of the novelist, Dr. Ronald Siegel lets his readers experience the suspicion, terror, and rage that possess the mind of the paranoid. This is the first book to investigate the actual experience of paranoia and to demonstrate that under the right conditions — drugs or deprivation, for example — anyone can be driven into that state. And indeed, eight million Americans already have been.

The paranoid inhabits a different realm of being, one that tilts the world ever so slightly. The senses detect these differences and sound mental alarms. Delusions and hallucinations feed on each other, flourishing with amazing speed. The paranoid becomes locked in a new mode of thinking — viewing life as from a cell.

In a dozen case studies, Dr. Siegel follows his patients into the shadow lands where paranoia flourishes — drug addiction, prison, organized crime, and terrorism. He introduces us to mild cases where there is only a vague sense that something is out there stalking, to those with apocalyptic visions so intense that they shake the foundations of an entire community. We meet the old woman who hears her teeth whispering, the beautiful ballet dancer who falls in love with a shadow, and the cocaine addict for whom the invasion of imaginary bugs was strong enough to kill. This intrepid journey through the mind's dark corridors ends with a reflective coda exploring the suicide of Ernest Hemingway, and there is no better guide than Dr. Ronald Siegel.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pharmacologist Siegel brilliantly explores the mind of the paranoid in this chilling, wholly engrossing report. His 12 case studies include a cocaine-addicted ballet dancer who murders a coke dealer after developing an erotic fixation on him, an aerospace inventor who believes his enemies have launched a satellite to transmit messages into his brain, a laid-off insurance salesman-turned-God's-prophet, and a frail octogenarian convinced that her dentist has implanted a spying device in her ``whispering'' teeth. Siegel ( Intoxication ), a UCLA research professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, begins by analyzing Hitler's paranoid hatred of Jews, made more virulent, the author believes, by amphetamine addiction. Next we meet a paranoid neo-Nazi graduate student at UCLA, who created a crude computer program to simulate Hitler's mind. Siegel closes with a look at Ernest Hemingway's paranoid final year, which culminated with his suicide. This startling survey suggests there is a continuum of paranoia and that paranoid episodes can be triggered by drugs, thyroid disorders, pernicious anemia or psychological traumas such as false arrest, social isolation or an intensely humiliating episode. (June)
Library Journal
This book offers a compelling series of vignettes depicting experiences of paranoia. By providing an explanatory connection between his subjects' past histories, personalities, and present experiences, Siegel creates a believable setting for the dramatic events, thoughts of persecution, and feelings of panic or terror that play out in the lives of the paranoid. Many of the cases reveal drug abuse or drug intoxication at their centers. Nevertheless, each has its own merits. The author's investigation of the facts and his vivid descriptions are skillfully recorded, as is his narration of his own paranoid experience. For most general collections.-Bonnie Hoffman, Stony Brook, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684802855
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
02/09/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
724,791
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Ronald K. Siegel, Ph.D., is Associate Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. A contributor to such publications as Omni and Scientific American, he is also the author of the highly regarded Intoxication and Fire in the Brain. He has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and to two presidential commissions, and is frequently called upon as an expert in high-profile criminal cases. He lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Whispers: The Voices of Paranoia 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my first year of college and loved every second of it. It was difficult to put down although there were a few section that were boring. I highly recommend this books to anyone with an interest in psychology, sociology or mental illness. 
StefMarie More than 1 year ago
I found this book incredible and hard to put down. It gave such an insight into what the disease is like and in several different cases. I read it when I was much younger and havent been able to forget it. Great find!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the_readerSH More than 1 year ago
these book is really hard to put down, i first found these book when i went to barns and nobles with a frien i picked it up and started reading it i enjoyed it its worth the money i payed for it if you have the chance to read it do so, excelent work mr. Ronald K. Siegel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're at all interested in paranoia and how/where it originates- this is a great book. It was incredibly hard to put it down it's wonderfully written and a quick read. Just buy it and see for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a psych student yet (still in HS) but i am very interested in it and this book totally got me seriously interested in this field of work. It really is an amazing book that takes you into the minds of the paranoid and somehow explains everything that is happening (medically) without going over your head. Everything thing is clear and easy to understand but at the same time very entertaining.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ronald Siegel has created an excellent work with Whispers. It follows the course of twelve people affected by paranoia which Siegel has come to know through therapy or investigational aid for various agencies. His insight and style make this book a fascinating work that leaves the reader in a spinning awe at the end of each case. Fascinating and recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book reads like a work of fiction - the people described in each section act in such different ways from the rest of society. While it is not an in depth look at paranoia itself the book is a fascinating look into the lives of approximately a dozen paranoid people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is totally amazing how some people let their paranoid beliefs take over their lifestyle. The author does a great job of describing each case and relating case to case.