The Paranoia Switch
The Paranoia Switch
How Terror Rewires Our Brains and Reshapes Our Behavior--and How We Can Reclaim Our Courage
By Martha Stout
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374229993, 240pp.
Publication Date: September 4, 2007
On September 11, 2001, the "Fear Switch" in our brains got flicked. How do we turn it off and reclaim our lives? Five years after September 11, we’re still scared. And why not? Terrorists could strike at any moment. Our country is at war. The polar caps are melting. Hurricanes loom. We struggle to control our fear so that we can go about our daily lives. Our national consciousness has been torqued by trauma, in the process transforming our behavior, our expectations, our legal system. In The Myth of Sanity, Martha Stout, who until recently taught at the Harvard Medical School, analyzed how we cope with personal trauma. In her national bestseller The Sociopath Next Door, she showed how to avoid suffering psychological damage at the hands of others. Now, in The Paranoia Switch, she offers a groundbreaking clinical, neuropsychological, and practical examination of what terror and fear politics have done to our minds, and to the very biology of our brains. In this timely and essential book, Stout assures us that we can interrupt the cycle of trauma and look forward to a future free of fear only by understanding our own paranoia—and what flips the paranoia switch.
Praise for The Sociopath Next Door
“The Sociopath Next Door is a chillingly accurate portrayal of evil–the decent person’s guide to indecency. Martha Stout draws upon sound scientific data and clinical experience and her writing is graceful and compelling.”
—Jonathan Kellerman, author of Therapy, When the Bough Breaks, and Monster.
“Stout’s portraits make a striking impact and readers with unpleasant neighbors or colleagues may find themselves paying close attention to her sociopathic-behavior checklist and suggested coping strategies. Deeply thought-provoking and unexpectedly lyrical.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)