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It is not meant to be some self-help manual, but it might be that, particularly if you have children to raise. It is essentially Psychiatry 101 made simple and understandable for the average, normal person, whatever “normal” may be. It is meant for professionals and non-professionals alike.
It is a peek into the secret sex lives of women and men plus a clear, scientific explanation of the painful male condition “blue balls.” If this hasn’t piqued your curiosity or interest, then I don’t know what will.
“…a fun read. Serious yet prepared with a light and accessible touch. Highly informative. It covers a substantial range of material in a jargon-free manner while explaining core ideas, a rare trait! The volume will appeal to a broad range of people including patients, parents and many practitioners of different stripes. It is filled with solid, superbly practical advice and wonderful nuggets….radiates interpersonal and emotional honesty which adds to its convincing nature….Rarely will one encounter someone who so thoroughly enjoys working with mildly as well as profoundly troubled and difficult adolescents and their families, and conveys by word and action the respect he has for those individuals and their families…deserves to be, and I hope will be, published by a popular press for a broad audience.”
Jack D. Barchas, M.D.
Barklie McKee Henry Professor and Chair
Weil Cornell Medical College
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
“Written in a truly conversational style, Dr. Tsao harnesses decades of patient care with his untraditional look at traditional psychiatric tenants. His thoughtful insights offer the public a truly rare glimpse into the therapeutic process and the mind of a psychiatrist. A must and provocative read to say the least, especially Dr. Tsao’s somewhat unconventional although entertaining take on human sexuality.”
David W. Goodman, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
“This book is Freud translated for the rest of us in today’s language. Dr. Tsao has taken insights from psychoanalysis and woven them in with other schools of thought and the latest concepts of neurobiology and genetics to present an understanding of human behavior that makes understandable common sense, not a small accomplishment indeed. His narratives about the lives of some of his patients make the book engaging, entertaining and alive. His unique conversational style leaves the impression that this is a discussion between old friends. A really enjoyable and quick read that I would strongly recommend to everyone from layman to the most sophisticated professional”
Michael J. Manos, Ph.D.
Center Head, Pediatric Behavioral Health
Dr. Tom Tsao is a Board Certified psychiatrist who still continues to practice in Virginia Beach, Va. at Atlantic Psychiatric Services, a practice he founded in 1982. Over the years he has taught and supervised students, interns and residents from the doctoral program at Regent University and the Eastern Virginia Medical School where he was a member of the founding faculty (1973). In 2006 Dr. Tsao was honored by the American Psychiatric Association when he was elevated to the status of Distinguished Life Fellow “in recognition” of his “significant contributions to Psychiatry.” His body of work spans decades from the sixties to the present. Dr. Tsao feels truly lucky and blessed to have shared stretches of life’s highway with so many thousands of his “kids” as he likes to call them, to witness and believe that he, in some small way, helped them grow up to be happier and emotionally healthier adults. This work is intended to be his “gift” to all those who want to better understand their children, themselves and relationships.
Excerpt from Chapter One
￼One of my major objectives in taking on this literary endeavor was the realization that most people’s lives are like the leaves of trees in the fall. After changing from green to various colors and shades thereof, the leaf falls off the tree and, with the autumn rain, is washed into a stream. The stream grows and flows, eventually emptying into a river downstream, in the process sweeping along the leaf. The river finds its way to the bay and finally into the ocean, where for the leaf and all its kindred souls the journey ends. Similarly, every person’s life follows such a course from beginning to end. We, like the leaves, are swept along by the flow of life; we seldom or never swim against the current, passively being moved steadily toward the end of our solitary journey through life. To put it another way, as a friend recently told me, “Only the dead fish go with the flow.” So, if your heart’s still beating, swim against the current!
A U.S. Census study conducted over a half a century ago reported that the vast majority of Americans are born, live, die, and are buried within a one hundred-mile radius. It is my hope that reading this book will enlighten you and even inspire you to make waves, to swim against the current, to make conscious choices, to resist what others would call fate or predestination, to escape our predicted one hundred-mile radius fate.
With self-understanding of the psychological forces that drive your emotions and behavior, you may be free to make the changes that will take you into uncharted waters and give you the opportunity to live a richer, more self-determined, fulfilling, and meaningful life. Barring even the smallest self-change, at the very least you may be able to offer choice to your own children, or the next generation. Obviously, I’m not guaranteeing or implying that there are any easy solutions or “quick fixes” in this written conversation. Whatever there is to be discovered will be up to you, my readers.
In addition, if the life-changing and personality-molding events of each person’s life can be identified and understood, it may help those people contemplating therapy or those already engaged in therapeutic work to move forward in a more timely manner toward a more positive, meaningful, and fulfilling outcome.
So, with more than forty-two years as a practicing physician and psychiatrist, I present for your consideration some of my observations and thoughts after logging more than 100,000 hours of therapeutic experience with people and sharing some of the more intimate aspects in the lives of more than 21,000 of my patients.
It seems logical to begin at the beginning and end at the end, as the Walrus said to Alice during her sojourn through Wonderland. Early in my career I sometimes felt like Alice, lost and confused as to why and when certain behaviors or emotions emerged in so many of the people who allowed me to delve into their most personal psychological lives.
As has been elucidated in the twenty-first century through the completion of the Human Genome Project, human beings receive from their parents about 40,000 genes of which 10,000 have some identifiable function that we know of at this time. We receive all these genes in the form of forty-six double-helix chromosomes, twenty-two pairs of autosomes and two sex chromosomes. The XX combination confirms femaleness and the XY maleness.
It is not my intent to bore you with scientific data or jargon. However, it is important to acknowledge that as Sigmund Freud predicted before his death in 1939, most of what were and are currently referred to as psychiatric disorders or syndromes will eventually be found to have a medical, biological, or genetic underpinning. Even as we establish the genetic roots of syndromes like Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD, and the differences that have been found in brain functioning, size, and anatomical topography in many of these maladies using X-ray, functional MRIs, SPECT, PET, and similar sophisticated technology, each person suffering with any one of these diagnoses is in fact unique. This then is the area I would like to explore with you—the uniqueness of each person. Logically, uniqueness is related to the almost limitless tapestry of human experience throughout the developmental and maturational process superimposed on our genetic heritage, half from mom and half from dad.