It’s that nagging feeling in your head, in your heart, in your gut. Wherever it manifests, that feeling is your mind’s way of saying it wants that certain thing. For some people it can be a favorite food or contact with a loved one. For others it can mean another line of cocaine or a few more sessions of hand-washing to make the nagging feeling go away.
Whether these are cravings, compulsions, obsessive thoughts or emotions that you can’t get rid of, they all boil down to one main notion: capture. Mind and body captured by that one thing.
Mental illness and substance abuse put people in invisible bonds, body and soul. David Kessler, M.D., understands that fact.
In his book “Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering”, Kessler addresses the question of why people think, act or feel certain ways even when they desperately don’t want to. He has taken the time to study and identify that mechanism that he dubs “capture,” which takes over the brain by forces outside of a person’s control.
Kessler covers some major questions in his book, ranging from the origins of mental problems to how and where healing fits into the equation. He pulls insight from psychology, medicine, literature, neuroscience and more to deconstruct how we think and examine our understanding of mental illness. After setting up a new foothold for understanding, he helps readers explore the concept of mental illness with the aid of the stories of others who have struggled with it.
Throughout the book, Kessler works with one goal: help readers comprehend the nature of “capture” to free them from its effects. He provides readers a new look at how people form thoughts and feelings, manage trauma and ultimately heal.
What did readers think?
While some who have flipped through the pages of this book had mixed feelings, most readers came away with positive praise. The Library Journal states that “Kessler writes about the concept of capture, or forces that strongly influence the mind, overriding reason and will. Invoking novelists, Freudian drives, and current neuroscience, Kessler explains how capture motivates, clarifies thoughts, and provides insight. A challenging and rewarding book for both scholars and lay readers.”
Another reader said, “For anyone struggling with mental illness in the family, ‘Capture’ is an essential read. It will help you to help those you love. Dr. Kessler explains what happens when the brain is ‘captured,’ basically locked into a negative spiral that can only end badly.”
At the end of the day, the best judge of a book is one’s own mind. Go pick up a copy to see what you think.
About the author
David A. Kessler M.D. works as a pediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. He is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago Law School, and Harvard Medical School. Kessler, his wife and two children all live in California.
About this author
Brianna Gibbons is a Web Producer for the Sovereign Health Group. She graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently works hard to organize and publish the content created by Sovereign Health for the blogs and websites. In her spare time, Brianna loves to read, write, knit, travel, dote on her pets and randomly go on small adventures with friends.