Challenging a medical model which has supplied few effective answers to long-standing conundrums, Evolutionary Psychiatry proposes a new conceptual framework for psychiatry based on Darwinian theory.
Anthony Stevens and John Price argue that psychiatric symptoms are manifestations of ancient adaptive strategies which are no longer necessarily appropriate but which can best be understood and treated in an evolutionary and developmental context. They propose theories to account for the widespread existence of affective disorders, borderline states and schizophrenia, as well as offering solutions for puzzles such as sadomasochism and the function of dreams.
This comprehensive introduction to the new science of Darwinian Psychiatry is readily accessible to both the specialist and non-specialist reader. It describes in detail the disorders and conditions commonly encountered in psychiatric practice and show how evolutionary theory can account for their biological origins and functional nature.
`Anthony Stevens and John Price have got together in Evolutionary Psychiatry to propose a "revolutionary" new way of understanding mental illness by means of Darwinian theory. They argue persuasively that conditions like depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and schizophrenia are the result of environmental maladaptation of strategies embedded in the phylogenetic makeup of the human species.' - British Medical Journal
'The authors modestly claim that their book is no more than a first effort to define the basic components of human behaviour and its disorders in terms of evolutionary biology … In my view, this attempt at a new paradigm is one of the most fruitful developments in psychiatry in recent years.' - Anthony Storr, the Financial Times
'Warmly recommended.' - Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
'The book serves as a thought-provoking introduction to a young and rapidly growing area of research. I suspect that the authors' claim that "psychiatry is entering the most exciting phase in its history" may prove correct.' - Stuart Blackman, New Scientist
'The book is written with crystal clarity, and the discussion is detailed, and thoroughly well referenced. This book cannot be the whole story, but it is an excellent introduction to a most important perspective on psychiatry and human behaviour.' - Hollistic Health No 54 Autumn 1997
'This book will be of interest to psychiatrists working in many areas and should be available in medical libraries' - British Journal of Psychiatry