Édouard Zarifian

The True Paradises in Your Head Publication date : October 1, 2000

'Our society has gone mad, but we mustn't say it. Unemployment, the breakdown of the family, the poverty of too many people in a universe dedicated to profit-making and consumerism, the absence of a future for young people, and the desperate loneliness of all are some of the factors traditionally evoked to explain our current social malaise. But the absence of human warmth, solidarity, tolerance, compassion for others and, simply, of spontaneous giving also play a major role, which is not always recognised. Listen to me, my brother, myself. You are afraid because you think you are weak, because you think that you have no future and that life is without hope. You have taken refuge in your interior world where there is only loneliness. And yet, your head is full of true paradises. They aren't chemical paradises, they are you, all of you, in your human uniqueness, with the strength that lives in you and that you have perhaps forgotten.' Édouard Zarifian

'Professor Zarifian opens the eyes of millions insomniacs and anxious people: psychotropic medication is not free of risk and should thus be reserved for specific disorders. There are other ways of caring for our states of mind...'


'One of the best analysts of the customs and problems of French society.'

Le Figaro

Édouard Zarifian teaches psychiatry and medical psychology at the University of Caen, France. He is the author of Des Jardiniers de la Folie and La Force de Guérir, published by Editions Odile Jacob.