A fascinating account of a life investigating obsessive love, packed with intriguing true stories.
'Frank Tallis brings a lifetime's clinical experience and wise reflection to a condition that, by its own strange routes, leads us into the very heart of love itself. This is a brilliant, compelling book' Ian McEwan
Love defines us. It shapes the individual, ensures the preservation of the species, and is the principal subject we - as a culture - choose to examine in our art forms. The experience of being in love is powerful and it inevitably changes how we feel and how we behave. Even when love is normal it is so intense that for thousands of years doctors and poets have described love as a kind of madness; however, love can also go wrong. When this happens the consequences for the individual and those around them can be far reaching and in some instances truly astonishing. Lovesickness is not a trivial matter. Unrequited love is a frequent cause of suicide (particularly among the young) and over ten percent of murders are connected with sexual jealousy. In the course of his career, Frank Tallis has treated many fascinating patients, and their stories, told here, are dramatic, bizarre and revealing.
From flagship NHS hospitals to luxury apartments, as well as notorious council estates Tallis has treated aristocrats, billionaires, film stars, middle managers and people in unspeakable poverty. The jilted Lord is just as vulnerable to the maladies of love as the jilted bus driver.
Love is a great leveller. Everyone wants love, everyone falls in love, everyone loses love, and everyone knows something of love's madness. And when love goes wrong, wealth, education and status count for nothing. In this astonishing, honest book, we learn of love's myriad maladies, and witness first-hand the ways they can drive us to madness.
Dr Frank Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. He has held lecturing posts in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry and neuroscience at King's College London. He has published over 30 scientific papers in international journals and has written a textbook on cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He has written three works of psychology for the lay reader: Changing Minds (a history of psychotherapy), Hidden Minds (a history of the unconscious) and Lovesick (an exploration of the relationship between romantic love and mental illness).