Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering by David A. KesslerCapture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering by David A. Kessler

Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering

byDavid A. Kessler

Hardcover | April 12, 2016

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New York Times Bestseller


Why do we think, feel, and act in ways we wished we did not? For decades, New York Times bestselling author Dr. David A Kessler has studied this question with regard to tobacco, food, and drugs. Over the course of these investigations, he identified one underlying mechanism common to a broad range of human suffering. This phenomenon—capture—is the process by which our attention is hijacked and our brains commandeered by forces outside our control.

In Capture, Dr. Kessler considers some of the most profound questions we face as human beings: What are the origins of mental afflictions, from everyday unhappiness to addiction and depression—and how are they connected? Where does healing and transcendence fit into this realm of emotional experience?

Analyzing an array of insights from psychology, medicine, neuroscience, literature, philosophy, and theology, Dr. Kessler deconstructs centuries of thinking, examining the central role of capture in mental illness and questioning traditional labels that have obscured our understanding of it. With a new basis for understanding the phenomenon of capture, he explores the concept through the emotionally resonant stories of both well-known and un-known people caught in its throes.

The closer we can come to fully comprehending the nature of capture, Dr. Kessler argues, the better the chance to alleviate its deleterious effects and successfully change our thoughts and behavior Ultimately, Capture offers insight into how we form thoughts and emotions, manage trauma, and heal. For the first time, we can begin to understand the underpinnings of not only mental illness, but also our everyday worries and anxieties. Capture is an intimate and critical exploration of the most enduring human mystery of all: the mind.

Title:Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental SufferingFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.29 inPublished:April 12, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062388517

ISBN - 13:9780062388513

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't bother I was very disappointed with this book. I decided to buy it when I read part of the title, "...Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering". I believed it would provide not just clarity but some guidance on how to improve one's mental state of being once one learned more about this concept of "Capture". The first part explained what the author meant by the concept of Capture. I didn't find it all that can be summed up in whatever you focus on will gain strength and become foremost in your mind and consequently affect your life....not exactly a new idea. After that there was some history of psychotherapy, (Freud again? Really?) and then much of the book provided anecdotes of different people and how they had been mentally unwell and what part "capture" had played in that. (Mind you, these weren't even overly interesting anecdotes as they were mostly about figures who are already famous for mental health issues such as Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway and the Unabomber.) I continued to read, waiting to get to the point where the author would begin to suggest how one could improve their life with this increased awareness of how our brains work. However, I feel like I wasted my time, as the anecdotes merely continued, and these centred around people who had found some relief from their problems by embracing painting, Buddhism, running or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The author did not devise any concrete suggestions or guidance in respect to handling the negative aspects of "capture". I am left with the severe disappointment of having spent money on this book which was unoriginal, unhelpful and basically a testament to the fact that the author can perform the same basic type of research which a high school student is capable of doing.
Date published: 2016-05-15

Editorial Reviews

“[A] Big Idea about how to conceptualize the mind and the brain… capture offers a new lens through which to understand human behavior.”