We have long wondered how some individuals with various mental disorders can achieve an enviably high level of productivity and creativity; can it be despite disorders or precisely because of these disorders?
The Power of Different-Gail Saltz
Gail Saltz, a brilliant psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author of high-profile and professionally books, explores in the book The Power of Different the uniqueness of the human brain and examines the relationship between disorders that can be a barrier to performance and the great potential that lies behind them.
The author profiles world-renowned geniuses who have been diagnosed with one or more brain defects, including learning disabilities, dyslexia, activity and attention disorder, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism, and convincingly shows how they knew turned their weaknesses into advantages. By exploring their life stories, she illustrates how specific deficits in particular parts of the brain are directly linked to high potential and above-average creative, artistic, empathic, and cognitive abilities.
The book is a blend of professional study and analysis of various biographies. It presents the fates of geniuses and everyday individuals who not only made the most of their conditions but succeeded precisely because of them. Aware of their differentness, they have more clearly identified areas of interest, developed paths for successful operation and created environments where they best developed their talents and relationships.
Let us mention Charles Darwin. Without Darwin’s anxious attachments and consequent perfectionism, humanity could have lost his natural genius insight into the evolution of life on the planet. It could be said that Darwin’s remarkable discovery was motivated by the fact that his brain was “tuned in” differently from other humans at the start, so one wonders why anyone would want more normality for Darwin ( read: mediocrities).
Or, as the author concludes at the end of the book “The Power of Different”: “I hope that by understanding the brain differences and brain circuits that cause human suffering as well as its unique abilities and qualities, we will be able to appreciate and accept a person with such a life journey. Every life and every brain contains potential. Suppressing this potential by dismissing people who do not fit some standard mold is not only cruel at the individual level, but also represents a sad loss at the social level. ”
In the book “The Power of Different,” Gail Saltz provides insights on how to help young people with different mental disabilities grow up and harness their individual potential.
About the Gail Saltz
GAIL SALTZ is a renowned American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with many years of practice, associate professor at New York-Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Hospital, and psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute. Recognized as a columnist, she writes regularly for The New York Times. She is the author of high-profile books in the field of psychological and mental disorders, especially those related to women’s emotional well-being, relationships, and mental health.
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