The Anxiety Epidemic
By Graham Davey
Are we living in an age of unprecedented anxiety, or has this always been a problem throughout history?We only need look around us to see anxieties: in the family home, the workplace, on social media, and especially in the news. It's true that everyone feels anxious at some time in their lives, but we're told we're all feeling more anxious than we've ever been before - and for longer than we've ever done before. It's even reported that anxiety is a modern epidemic significant enough to challenge the dominance of depression as the most common mental health problem.Much of this increase has been attributed to changes in lifestyles that have led to more stress and pressure being placed on people: from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood. But that's a big claim. Going back over the generations, how anxious were people in 1968 or 1818? Are people just anxious all the time - regardless of what they do or when they lived? Is anxiety an inevitable consequence of simply being alive?Graham Davey addresses many important questions about the role of anxiety. What is it good for? What are the unique modern-day causes of our anxieties and stresses? What turns normal everyday anxiety into the disabling disorders that many of us experience - distressing and debilitating conditions such as phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, pathological worrying and post-traumatic stress disorder? To truly conquer anxiety, we need to understand why it has established its prominent place in our modern world.
By Graham Easton
HIGHLY COMMENDED for the British Medical Awards book prize for Primary Health CareDespite the modern trend towards empowering patients and giving them more choice, the nuts and bolts of medical practice largely remain a mystery - a closed box. In fact, the more health information is available on the internet, the more patients can feel swamped and confused. The Appointment offers an intimate and honest account of how a typical GP tries to make sense of a patient's health problems and manage them within the constraints of their health system and the short ten minute appointment. We have always been fascinated by our own health but in recent years, especially for older people, seeing the GP has become a regular activity. In the past decade the average number of times a patient visits his or her GP has almost doubled. Despite this increasing demand, getting to see a GP is not always easy so those intimate ten minutes with the doctor are extremely precious, and there's more than ever to cram in. Taking the reader through a typical morning surgery, The Appointment shines a light onto what is really going on in those central ten minutes and lets the reader, for the first time, get inside the mind of the person sitting in front of them - the professional they rely on to look after their health. Experienced GP Dr Graham Easton shows how GPs really think, lays bare their professional strengths and weaknesses, and exposes what really influences their decisions about their patients' health.
Are Numbers Real?
By Brian Clegg
Have you ever wondered what humans did before numbers existed? How they organized their lives, traded goods, or kept track of their treasures? What would your life be like without them? Numbers began as simple representations of everyday things, but mathematics rapidly took on a life of its own, occupying a parallel virtual world. In Are Numbers Real? Brian Clegg explores the way that maths has become more and more detached from reality, yet despite this is driving the development of modern physics. From devising a new counting system based on goats, through the weird and wonderful mathematics of imaginary numbers and infinity to the debate over whether mathematics has too much influence on the direction of science, this fascinating and accessible book opens the reader's eyes to the hidden reality of the strange yet familiar world of numbers.
An End To Murder
By Colin Wilson, Damon Wilson
Creatively and intellectually there is no other species that has ever come close to equalling humanity's achievements, but nor is any other species as suicidally prone to internecine conflict. We are the only species on the planet whose ingrained habit of conflict constitutes the chief threat to our own survival. Human history can be seen as a catalogue of cold-hearted murders, mindless blood-feuds, appalling massacres and devastating wars, but, with developments in forensic science and modern psychology, and with raised education levels throughout the world, might it soon be possible to reign in humanity's homicidal habits? Falling violent crime statistics in every part of the world seem to indicate that something along those lines might indeed be happening. Colin and Damon Wilson, who between them have been covering the field of criminology for over fifty years, offer an analysis of the overall spectrum of human violence. They consider whether human beings are in reality as cruel and violent as is generally believed and they explore the possibility that humankind is on the verge of a fundamental change: that we are about to become truly civilised. As well as offering an overview of violence throughout our history - from the first hominids to the twenty-first century, touching on key moments of change and also indicating where things have not changed since the Stone Age - they explore the latest psychological, forensic and social attempts to understand and curb modern human violence. To begin with, they examine questions such as: Were the first humans cannibalistic? Did the birth of civilisation also lead to the invention of war and slavery? Priests and kings brought social stability, but were they also the instigators of the first mass murders? Is it in fact wealth that is the ultimate weapon? They look at slavery and ancient Roman sadism, but also the possibility that our own distaste for pain and cruelty is no more than a social construct. They show how the humanitarian ideas of the great religious innovators all too quickly became distorted by organised religious structures. The book ranges widely, from fifteenth-century Baron Gilles de Rais, 'Bluebeard', the first known and possibly most prolific serial killer in history, to Victorian domestic murder and the invention of psychiatry and Sherlock Holmes and the invention of forensic science; from the fifteenth-century Taiping Rebellion in China, in which up to 36 million died to the First and Second World Wars and more recent genocides and instances of 'ethnic cleansing', and contemporary terrorism. They conclude by assessing the very real possibility that the internet and the greater freedom of information it has brought is leading, gradually, to a profoundly more civilised world than at any time in the past.