Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain

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9780060594732: Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain

When journalist Dennis Cass was nineteen years old his stepfather, Bill, suffered from a psychotic break. Cass tried to commit him to a mental institution only to watch Bill escape from a cab en route to a Harlem hospital and run raving down the streets of Manhattan. Some fifteen years later, a bout of writer's block turned Cass's thoughts toward the brain.

A complete stranger to science, Cass immersed himself in the world of neuroscience, subjecting himself to brain scans, psychological tests, and scientific conferences, as he attempted to gain a better understanding of ADHD, anxiety, stress, motivation and reward, and consciousness. Then things got a little weird. What began as a more clinical effort to understand himself soon became a personal and emotional journey into the fragile, mysterious workings of the mind and the self.

Head Case is a charming, hilarious, and at times harrowing memoir of scientific experimentation. It's a story of science and society, of fathers and sons, and of how the past lives on in the present. Along the way the book asks timeless questions: What do we know about ourselves? What can we know about ourselves? And how much self-knowledge can a single person handle?

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About the Author:

Dennis Cass has been a journalist for ten years, writing for Harper's, Spin, Mother Jones, and Slate.com. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son.

From Publishers Weekly:

When writer's block threatened to interfere with Cass's career as a freelance journalist, he decided the solution would be to learn everything he could about how the brain works. He soon fancies himself an amateur scientist, embarking on a spree of experimentation, self-diagnosing himself with attention deficit disorder and scoring a prescription to Adderall, which helps at first but then starts messing up his mind. As Cass makes clear from the outset, the journalistic enterprise is fraught with emotional turbulence because it forces him to confront his family history, especially his stepfather's manic depression. Yet for all the outward appearances of candor—Cass, a former columnist for GQ and Slate, speaks freely of humiliating childhood experiences as well as of his adult jealousy of more successful writers like Malcolm Gladwell—it still feels like he's holding back. The science elements of the book are also insufficiently developed, especially when writers like Steven Johnson and Daniel Pink have already effectively staked out the genre of first-person guided tours of neuroscience. At times, Cass comes off as genuinely uncomfortable with what his research tells him about his brain and himself, leaving readers wishing he'd pushed harder to get a richer story. (Mar.)
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When journalist Dennis Cass was nineteen years old his stepfather, Bill, suffered from a psychotic break. Cass tried to commit him to a mental institution only to watch Bill escape from a cab en route to a Harlem hospital and run raving down the streets of Manhattan. Some fifteen years later, a bout of writer s block turned Cass s thoughts toward the brain. A complete stranger to science, Cass immersed himself in the world of neuroscience, subjecting himself to brain scans, psychological tests, and scientific conferences, as he attempted to gain a better understanding of ADHD, anxiety, stress, motivation and reward, and consciousness. Then things got a little weird. What began as a more clinical effort to understand himself soon became a personal and emotional journey into the fragile, mysterious workings of the mind and the self. Head Case is a charming, hilarious, and at times harrowing memoir of scientific experimentation. It s a story of science and society, of fathers and sons, and of how the past lives on in the present. Along the way the book asks timeless questions: What do we know about ourselves? What can we know about ourselves? And how much self-knowledge can a single person handle?. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060594732

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When journalist Dennis Cass was nineteen years old his stepfather, Bill, suffered from a psychotic break. Cass tried to commit him to a mental institution only to watch Bill escape from a cab en route to a Harlem hospital and run raving down the streets of Manhattan. Some fifteen years later, a bout of writer s block turned Cass s thoughts toward the brain. A complete stranger to science, Cass immersed himself in the world of neuroscience, subjecting himself to brain scans, psychological tests, and scientific conferences, as he attempted to gain a better understanding of ADHD, anxiety, stress, motivation and reward, and consciousness. Then things got a little weird. What began as a more clinical effort to understand himself soon became a personal and emotional journey into the fragile, mysterious workings of the mind and the self. Head Case is a charming, hilarious, and at times harrowing memoir of scientific experimentation. It s a story of science and society, of fathers and sons, and of how the past lives on in the present. Along the way the book asks timeless questions: What do we know about ourselves? What can we know about ourselves? And how much self-knowledge can a single person handle?. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060594732

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Book Description Harper Perennial. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 240 pages. Dimensions: 7.8in. x 5.2in. x 0.7in.When journalist Dennis Cass was nineteen years old his stepfather, Bill, suffered from a psychotic break. Cass tried to commit him to a mental institution only to watch Bill escape from a cab en route to a Harlem hospital and run raving down the streets of Manhattan. Some fifteen years later, a bout of writers block turned Casss thoughts toward the brain. A complete stranger to science, Cass immersed himself in the world of neuroscience, subjecting himself to brain scans, psychological tests, and scientific conferences, as he attempted to gain a better understanding of ADHD, anxiety, stress, motivation and reward, and consciousness. Then things got a little weird. What began as a more clinical effort to understand himself soon became a personal and emotional journey into the fragile, mysterious workings of the mind and the self. Head Case is a charming, hilarious, and at times harrowing memoir of scientific experimentation. Its a story of science and society, of fathers and sons, and of how the past lives on in the present. Along the way the book asks timeless questions: What do we know about ourselves What can we know about ourselves And how much self-knowledge can a single person handle This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780060594732

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