How did our minds come to be so powerful, and yet so fragile? In this talk, legendary physician Randolph Nesse will reveal the evolutionary origins of the emotional conditions affecting so many of us – and offer new insights for their treatment and management.
“Buy two copies and give one to your doctor.” — Richard Dawkins on Randolph Nesse’s Why We Get Sick
We live in one of the wealthiest, most peaceful and most technologically advanced societies in the world. And yet in the last week alone, one in six of us experienced anxiety, depression or another common emotional health problem. What can science tell us about the root causes of this troubling development? And what can we do to help – as sufferers, carers, and a society?
In this ground-breaking talk, Dr. Randolph Nesse will challenge the prevailing orthodoxy, asking not why certain people in particular suffer from emotional distress – but why natural selection has left us all with fragile minds.
With fascinating case studies and stories drawn from decades of experience at the forefront of evolutionary medicine, Dr. Nesse will show how negative emotions are useful in certain situations, yet can become excessive. Anxiety protects us from harm in the face of danger, but false alarms are inevitable. Low mood prevents us from wasting effort in pursuit of unreachable goals, but it often escalates into pathological depression. Other disorders, such as addiction and anorexia, result from the mismatch between modern environments and our ancient human past. Taken together, these insights and many more help to explain the pervasiveness of human suffering, and show us new paths for relieving it.
- Perfect for fans of Matt Haig, Ruby Wax and Oliver Sacks
- Be the first to hear about a new framework that will revolutionise the scientific understanding and treatment of mental health.