Vivianne Kovess-Masfety

Can Anyone Blow a Fuse? Publication date : November 6, 2008

Whether we are being handed recipes for happiness or told about the latest violent crime, the subject of mental health is frequently in the news. Unfortunately, such extensive coverage has contributed to the spread of certainties that are often far from accurate.

This book has two goals: to provide an accurate review, in accessible language, of the current state of psychiatric knowledge, and to counter a catastrophic vision that is spreading exaggeratedly pessimistic ideas.

At what point can a patient be said to be suffering from a nervous breakdown? Are eating disorders on the rise? Are artists more likely to suffer from delirium? Does the incidence of mental disorders vary in different countries and according to profession or social category? Is urban life more stressful than rural? Are new psychiatric illnesses emerging? Do a majority of homeless people suffer from mental disorders? Can mental disorders be cured? What are the limits of psychoanalysis? Is mental health care in France adequate?

Mental health has become a social issue. Based on scientific data, a specialist gives clear, precise, jargon-free answers to more than 100 independent, easy-to-look-up questions.

Viviane Kovess-Masfety, a psychiatrist and epidemiologist, is an adjunct professor at McGill University, Montreal, and the director of the MGEN Foundation for Public Health, a research centre of the University of Paris-Descartes. She is the author of reports on mental health care in France and Europe.