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Authors of Our Own Misfortune: The Problems with Psychogenic Explanations for Physical Illnesses

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Ian McLachlan, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Ian McLachlan

    Ian McLachlan

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    Quote from Angela Kennedy: "My book Authors of Our Own Misfortune: The Problems with Psychogenic Explanations for Physical Illnesses has been published! It is available on Amazon.co.uk below. It will also be available under a different ISBN on Amazon.com next week, and through various other outlets in the coming weeks."

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Authors-Our-Misf...=1-3-fkmr1

    From the back cover:

    "Since the advent of 'medicine' as a discrete practice, beliefs that bodily illness can somehow be caused by psychological, emotional, and behavioural ‘disorder’ have been claimed by many in the discipline. Such beliefs became less creditable as scientific methods of detecting disease developed, with discoveries such as the physiological and anatomical abnormalities in Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, for example, and the organisms causing syphilis and duodenal ulcers. Nevertheless, psychogenic explanations for illnesses still appear frequently within medical and academic literature, in 'common sense' public discourses, and in medical diagnoses of patients. But how plausible are these explanations?

    Authors of our Own Misfortune? proposes that psychogenic explanations for physical illnesses are subject to a complex mix of confusing concepts, accompanied by certain moralistic and ideological assumptions about people and their illnesses. Most crucially, such explanations are also, almost always, fatally flawed, both scientifically and logically. Furthermore, the widespread, uncritical acceptance and use of such explanations has had serious and specific adverse effects on the people upon whom they are used.

    This is a timely, groundbreaking book about a critical theme in medicine. It provides rigorous analysis of the claims made about ‘mental disorder’ and bodily illness, using current ‘medical controversies’ (such as, but not limited to, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) to demonstrate the problems with and adverse effects of such claims. Authors of our Own Misfortune? is essential reading for academics, health professionals, and those directly or indirectly affected by psychogenic explanations for illness.

    Angela Kennedy is a social sciences lecturer and researcher at a number of universities in London, and author of numerous articles, papers and books in lay, professional and academic media over a 30 year career. Her academic research interests include: the social stratification, scapegoating and social exclusion of disadvantaged groups, and the effects of these; constructions of moral panics; and the sociology of science and medicine, including manifestations of the 'science wars'. "
     
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  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Very interesting - thanks Ian - now wouldn't that be nice to show to a few Docs I've met long the way.
     
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  3. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Well without reading it I cannot possibly comment except to say that the publisher appears to have gone 'bust'

    https://www.duedil.com/company/07747096/the-village-digital-press

    I wonder if this particular author will be open to critique/debate - assuming of course that I can gain access to the publication? Amazon are showing it is unavailable possibly because of the above - who knows?

    There was coincidentally an interesting feature on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme this morning, that was talking about how the functional MRI scans can now show the biological processes within the brain that are 'over-sensitised' (my word) when for example looking at a person's emotional responses. The patient's in this example were suffering from Bi-polar disorder.

    What was interesting to me was that the scientists involved in this particular project were calling, apparently, for the greater involvement of such technologies in the diagnosis of suspected abnormalities. There was some - perhaps opposing - comment from a psychologist. I'll try and transcribe the interview if I get a moment.
     
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  4. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    justinreilly, currer, jace and 2 others like this.
  5. Ian McLachlan

    Ian McLachlan

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    It would.
     
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Thanks for this Ian. Angela Kennedy is well known to me, and makes very lucid and compelling arguments. This is the third book on this topic I am aware of, and a must read for me. Bye, Alex

    PS Just found a fourth book:
    Your Symptoms Are Real: What to Do When Your Doctor Says Nothing Is Wrong

    http://www.amazon.com/Your-Symptoms..._B001IYXHQG_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346875908&sr=1-1

    I would also like to add that not only is Angela's book a must-read for me, I am really looking forward to it arriving.
     
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  7. Ian McLachlan

    Ian McLachlan

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    i understand there is some confusion regarding this thread. I am not Angela kennedy posting as someone called Ian McLachlan . I am Ian McLachlan. I live in the UK and always use my own name. I don't post too often although I do read various threads from this list, manily of late those related to the PACE trial.
     
  8. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    So it's self published ?
     
  9. akrasia

    akrasia Senior Member

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    And if it is?

    Self publishing has a very good pedigree. Wallace Stevens first collection of poems, Harmonium, the initial installment of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, and Whitman's Leaves of Grass were self published.

    It says nothing about the quality of the book. Or perhaps you were just making an observation...
     
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Most editors wouldn't know how to find a reviewer for a manuscript on a book like this. There is a huge chance it would go to someone not qualified. I am writing a book on a similar topic - I intend to release it as an online report (currently). Its the readers, and the interested audience, who will then review it. That is what determines the real success of a book anyway - what the intended audience thinks. In the case of my bookI want it available, for free, to anyone and everyone.

    Unless Angela's book gets some good reviews and publicity, it runs the risk of going the same way as the previous two (three?) - those who are very interested in this topic will buy it, but the wider audience will ignore it. To assist with this I hope to review it and post that review to Amazon. I would ask that others consider doing the same - whether you like or dislike the book, or agree or disagree with the main points.

    Bye, Alex
     
  11. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Unfortunately I need to spend my disability funds on root canal treatment - developed an abscess and had the dentist poking around yesterday. There's always something...
     
  12. Ian McLachlan

    Ian McLachlan

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    Agree. The Bronte sisters first self published. Imagine if they had given up and accepted the constraints of their time.
     
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  13. Ian McLachlan

    Ian McLachlan

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    Firestorm I would be happy to purchase a copy for you. In fact if anyone else in the UK is in the same position I am willing to do the same. I have enough to buy five copies so it would have to be on a first come first served basis. Contact me at iantmclachlan at hotmail dot co dot uk.

    Moderator note: email has been edited to prevent bot harvesting.
     
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  14. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    As the book's author gives academic credentials (implying that the book is of academic merit) the issue of whether the work has been independently reviewed and edited via a formal publishing process would usually be considered relevant information. Self publishing is what is, and if it satisfies a market demand then the author makes money, but it is the sort of thing that ought to be stated up front.

    IVI
     
  15. Adamskitutu

    Adamskitutu *****

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    I think you have the situation wrong there IVI about this particular book. I've also seen Kennedy say elsewhere that her book will stand or fall on its own merits when read, which is a fair comment. You seem very concerned with 'prestige' and other people's approval, but publishing has been revolutionised by new technologies etc. Various authors are publishing in non-traditional formats, even established authors.They have more control over how their work is disseminated, what they want to say etc.

    It doesn't take too much to see she is an academic as well, which as you surely should know is a pretty broad discipline.

    I feel these objections are all rather over-conservative. Why don't you just read what she has to say if you are that concerned? I know I'm going to.
     
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  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I've been involved with the production of several reference books which have been self-published, (in a completely different field - research into Art Glass).
    Often, only the writers of such books are the only folk on the planet who have access to the information to be able to do so.
    The books I've personally been involved with are far superior to most others, published previously. They were produced with love and passion for the subject and a desire to tell the true story and dispel myths.
    There's often not a lot of profit in it and it can take years to just break even.
     
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  17. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I wasn't personally praising anybody other than the authors I know - in the field of Art Glass.
    And I too have little time for social "science".
    But I also don't think it's right to dismiss something you haven't read, offhand.
     
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  18. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Fifty Shades of Gray was self published.

    Barb C.:>)
     
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  19. Adamskitutu

    Adamskitutu *****

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    Then picked up by Random House, and doing extremely well.
     
  20. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I don't know Angela Kennedy, I've not read her stuff.
     

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