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Granny Reads: Review of "Anatomy of An Illness: As Perceived by the Patient" by Norman Cousins

Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the PatientAnatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient by Norman Cousins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This little book has achieved 'classic' status based largely on the radical steps the author, Norman Cousins, had taken previously to let the world know about his success in overcoming a painful, life-threatening disease that plagued him and that 'doctors' at that time (1960s) gave no hope for overcoming.

This book is an analysis of how the ill perceive their illness and the prognosis for overcoming it with/ without medical interventions and the opinions of medical experts. It looks at studies that show that placebos are often almost as effective as some of the "medications" being studied before being brought onto the market. There is a pretty clear case made for the benefits of optimism, having a clear understanding how the body and the mind work together to achieve wellness (or conversely, give into sickness), and how important it is to be persistent and creative in seeking alternative ways of healing for oneself when one runs into negativity, neglect and promotion of interests other than caring for a patient's welfare in the medical "system".

Even though much of the book's content has been shared since the book was published in 1979, there were still interesting and inspiring findings to read and to marvel at. My husband and I read this little book aloud and discussed each chapter. He was also reading "Laughter Yoga" at the same time (see my review HERE) and we both have been paying a lot of attention to laughing (or voluntary/ fake laughing) as well. The two books work well to reinforce similar principles of healing through positivity.

View all my reviews on Good Reads

A great interview with Norman Cousins from the 1980s where he discusses the background of "Anatomy of an Illness":


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