It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness


It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan

Synopsis: A neurologist explores the very real world of psychosomatic illness.

Most of us accept the way our heart flutters when we set eyes on the one we secretly admire, or the sweat on our brow as we start the presentation we do not want to give. But few of us are fully aware of how much more dramatic and extreme our body’s reactions to emotions can sometimes be. Up to a third of people who go to see their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained; in the vast majority of these cases an emotional cause is suspected. And yet, when it comes to a diagnosis, ‘it’s all in your head’ is the very last thing we want to hear, and the last thing doctors want to say.

In It’s All in Your Head consultant neurologist Dr. Suzanne O’Sullivan takes us on a journey through the world of psychosomatic illness, to meet patients like Pauline, who has been ill all her adult life; like Camilla, the lawyer with the perfect life — except for her unexplained seizures; Yvonne, who was blinded at work by cleaning spray; Rachel who was a promising dancer but now is stuck in the purgatory of ME. Suzanne O’Sullivan encourages us to look deep inside the human condition, at the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves, and to question our age-old failure to credit the intimate and extraordinary connection between mind and body.


Published: October 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0701189266

Mini-Bio: Suzanne O’Sullivan is a Irish neurologist working in Britain who is the winner of the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize. She won for her first book, It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness, published by Chatto & Windus in 2015. Wikipedia
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