Virtual reservations are available through the National Writers Series website, while in-person tickets can be reserved here through the City Opera House.
When Daniel Bergner’s younger brother was diagnosed as bipolar and put in a locked ward in the 1980s, psychiatry seemed to have achieved what was promised years ago: a revolution of chemical solutions to treat mental illness. Yet as Bergner’s brother was deemed a dire risk for suicide and he and his family were told his disorder would be lifelong, he found himself taking heavy doses of medications with devastating side effects.
Now, in recounting his brother’s journey alongside the gripping, illuminating stories of Caroline, who is beset by the hallucinations of psychosis, and David, who is overtaken by depression, Bergner examines the evolution of how we treat our psyches. He reveals how the pharmaceutical industry has perpetuated our biological view of the mind and our drug-based assumptions about treatment—despite the shocking price paid by many patients and the problematic evidence of drug efficacy. And he takes us into the pioneering labs of today’s preeminent neuroscientists, sharing their remarkably candid reflections and fascinating new theories of treatment.
The Mind and the Moon raises profound questions about how we understand ourselves and the essential human divide between our brains and our minds. This is a book of thought-provoking reframings, delving into the science—and spirit—of our psyches. It is about vulnerability and personal dignity, the terrifying choices confronted by families and patients, and the prospect of alternatives. In The Mind and the Moon, Daniel Bergner beautifully explores how to seek a deeper engagement with ourselves and one another—and how to find a better path toward caring for our minds.