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
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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.
Martha Stout, PhD. , is the author of The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness and The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us.
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)
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org