From "one of America's most courageous young journalists" (NPR) comes a propulsive narrative history investigating the 50-year-old mystery behind a dramatic experiment that changed the course of modern medicine.
For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness-how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people -- sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society -- went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry's labels. Forced to remain inside until they'd "proven" themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan's watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever.
But, as Cahalan's explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today?
A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems...
'Take my baby.'
In a split second, Morgan's life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.
Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can't understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.
When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.
To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman's life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.
Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?
Or was something much darker going on?
Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won't be able to stop thinking about.