• The Mind and the Moon

  • My Brother’s Story, the Science of Our Brains, and the Search for Our Psyches
  • By: Daniel Bergner
  • Narrated by: Daniel Bergner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An important—and intimate—interrogation of how we treat mental illness and how we understand ourselves.

In the early 1960s, JFK declared that science would take us to the Moon. He also declared that science would make the “remote reaches of the mind accessible” and cure psychiatric illness with breakthrough medications. We were walking on the Moon within the decade. But today, psychiatric cures continue to elude us—as does the mind itself. Why is it that we still don’t understand how the mind works? What is the difference between the mind and the brain? And given all that we still don’t know, how can we make insightful, transformative choices about our psychiatric conditions?

When Daniel Bergner’s younger brother was diagnosed as bipolar and put on a locked ward in the 1980s, psychiatry seemed to have achieved what JFK promised: 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 reframing, 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, 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. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Daniel Bergner (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting perspective

I listened to this one every chance I had and finished it in a couple days. Interesting perspective and it read like fiction. It made me rethink some of the things I thought I knew and will definitely help me be more empathetic going forward.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Narration

This is an excellent book if you can get past the narrator’s mispronunciation of didn’t. Didn’t is a two syllable word but it is pronounced as “dint” which I found extremely irritating. The same holds true for couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t.
Perhaps this book would have been better if read.

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  • LK
  • 08-01-22

Exquisitely Written & Told

Well researched but written in narrative form, Daniel Bergner walks us with gentle confidence through the world of those who suffer from torments of the mind, heart, and soul. I read 30-40 books per year—many of them excellent. But this one is both outstanding and special. The love he feels for his brother is subtly and covertly woven into his story, but felt strongly all the same. So glad he also chose to read this book to us.

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  • BD
  • 07-17-22

Must-read for healthcare professionals/students

I’m a nursing student and appreciate the overview of the historical trajectory of mental healthcare and new ideas about how to better care for people as individuals and protect their autonomy. If you want to be a good advocate and signposter for your patients with mental health struggles and want to learn to think more critically about this area of healthcare, i highly recommend this audiobook. The writing is great, seems well-researched, and author has a pleasant reading voice.

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