Origins of Anxiety and Depression
Jeffrey P. Kahn
Reviews and Awards
"Why does mental illness persist when it would seem to be counterproductive in an evolutionary sense? Kahn argues that certain traits that promote group fitness can, in a modern context and if exaggerated, manifest as serious mental illness . . . A lively presentation." --Library Journal
"An amazingly insightful and timely book, Angst will make you think and rethink the way our brains deal with anxiety and tragedy." -- Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD is a cancer physician and researcher at Columbia University. His book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction.
"Most of the theorists who study mental illness through the lens of evolution have never seen a patient themselves. This is what makes Dr. Kahn's approach unique. Dr. Kahn refracts theory through his rich experience as a clinician and the result is a thesis on evolutionary psychiatry that is both conceptually rich and pragmatically valuable." -- Sally Satel, MD, Yale University psychiatry faculty, popular author One Nation Under Therapy; PC, MD and regular Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
"This remarkable book presents a revolutionary and counter-intuitive theory of anxiety and depression. This theory reflects the author's careful clinical observations over decades of outstanding individual psychiatric care, and from his vital work in dealing with 'the wounded workplace.' This landmark book is a must read for everyone interested in mental health, evolution - or in humankind." -- Richard K. Harding, MD, Past-President, American Psychiatric Association, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
"Kahn is a highly experienced clinician and researcher, and he offers some of the soundest, most up-to-date advice available about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness." -- Peter D. Kramer, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and author of Listening to Prozac and Against Depression.
"Jeffrey Kahn offers a novel and comprehensive evolutionary theory on the adaptive value of anxiety and depressive disorders. His insight into the social instincts in animal herds is compelling and is nicely integrated with psychiatric research and clinical observations. This is an outstanding book for the inquisitive reader, and a milestone in translating evolutionary theory into a new understanding of common psychiatric illnesses." -- Eric Hollander, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, author of Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Textbook of Anxiety Disorders, and Coping with Social Anxiety Disorder, and International Expert on Psychiatric Diagnosis and Neuropsychopharmacology
"Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, a practicing psychiatrist for 30 years, provides a unique insight into the causes of modern day angst." -- David Olle, New York Journal of Books
"This is an interesting book by an author with a wealth of clinical and research experience. He has done a very thorough job on the research behind his theories and expresses them clearly and succinctly. I would recommend the book." -- Brett C. Plyler, M.D., Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Doody's
"Although this book is written in the style of popular science, it is, in fact, an innovative and scholarly work that deserves to be studied by mental health specialists. ... [T]his book makes a powerful case for a scientific approach to psychiatry firmly based within the framework of evolutionary theory." --The British Journal of Psychiatry
"It offers new models that can be used in psychiatry research, instead of the old fashioned nosographic constructs of mental disorders." -- Asociacao Brasileira de Psiquiatria