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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Debunks contemporary myths about stress-related illnesses, 7 July 2003
This review is from: The Sickening Mind: Brain, Behaviour, Immunity and Disease (Paperback)
It's rare to turn the page of a newspaper without finding some mention of that curiously modern condition, the stress-related illness. But is there any real evidence of this phenomenom, and if so, how and why does it exist? Martin's book tries to address these questions, but ultimately only really succeeds in answering the former. The bulk of the book consists of summaries of vast ranges of scientific studies, showing statistical links between various forms of mental stress and an increased risk of falling prey to disease. These sections have a list-like feel to them, making them a chore to read even with Martin's frequent dips into classical literature for fictional parallels. The really interesting questions, that of how the stressed brain alters the immune system and why such links evolved, are only touched on briefly, and even then speculatively. This presumably reflects the current state of affairs, and the book does succeed in debunking a few myths about stress and illness, but leaves the reader feeling with more questions than answers. Still a recommended read, but gives no deep insight into the problem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
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