A powerful and inspiring examination of the connection between the potential for great talent and conditions commonly thought to be "disabilities," revealing how the source of our struggles can be the origin of our greatest strengths.
The Power of Different, psychiatrist Gail Saltz examines the latest scientific discoveries, profiles famous geniuses who have been diagnosed with all manner of brain "problems"--including learning disabilities, ADD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism--and tells the stories of lay individuals to demonstrate how specific deficits in certain areas of the brain are directly associated with the potential for great talent. Saltz shows how the very conditions that cause people to experience difficulty at school, in social situations, at home, or at work, are inextricably bound to creative, disciplinary, artistic, empathetic, and cognitive abilities.
In this pioneering work, readers will find engaging scientific research and stories from historical geniuses and everyday individuals who have not only made the most of their conditions, but who have flourished because of them. They are leaning into their brain differences to:
* Identify areas of interest and expertise
* Develop work arounds
* Create the environments that best foster their talents
* Forge rewarding interpersonal relationships
Enlightening and inspiring, The Power of Different proves that the unique wiring of every brain can be a source of strength and productivity, and contributes to the richness of our world.
"The Power of Different is a nuanced exploration of the contribution that being a little--but not too--crazy can make to creativity. A clear writer and undogmatic thinker with the expertise to evaluate existing research, Dr. Gail Saltz expertly winnows out genuine insights from the chaff of poorly designed studies and facile generalizations. An exceptionally interesting and thoughtful book."--Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
"Gail Saltz strikes gold. For centuries, stigma, fear, and, above all, ignorance have prevented us from seeing what Dr. Saltz presents so clearly, concisely, and convincingly: that embedded in our so-called disabilities, disorders, and mental illnesses we find treasures of enormous value, gems that have illuminated and changed the world. As she demonstrates over and again, our world would be thousands of years behind itself were it not for the talents and originality mixed in with the chaos and confusion of the mind in distress or disarray."--Ned Hallowell, author of Driven to Distraction
"Gail Saltz's careful research bolsters her argument that every brain is different, and that achievement has to do with harnessing what's there more than with trying to reshape it into normality. Her insightful book examines genius and disability in considerable detail, but the stories and lessons contained within it are relevant to all human minds."--Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree
A clinical associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, Gail Saltz, MD, is a psychiatrist, columnist, bestselling author, television commentator, and magazine contributor.
256 pages. 2017