Map of the Psyche gives new approach to mental health

Map of the Psyche by Timothy R Nuske

A new book from former mental patient turned psychology student Timothy R. Nuske, titled Map of the Psyche outlines both the author's experiences with psychological testing and treatment as well as a new theory he has regarding what mental illness and disorder really is.

The book is both intriguing and sometimes difficult to read. The experiences the author had during his ten years as a confused, uncertain, mentally ill person going through various types and phases of care with diagnosis ranging nearly the whole of the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual (DSM), is often hard to digest without going through many of the emotions that the author felt. Especially if any of them "hit home" with the reader in terms of personal experience.

What Nuske does, however, is show how confusing the DSM can be when applied to someone who may have problems that are not so well-defined as to be easily diagnosed. This then leads into his new ideas about what mental illness and disorder may really be.

Agree or not with this thesis, it is very thought-provoking. It's hard to explain it aptly in the format of a book review like this, but here is an attempt.

It begins with Nuske building a "mind map" - not in the brainstorming sense, but in the literal sense. He literally mapped his mind. Hence the title of the book. What results is a glimpse into the psyche of someone who we would likely consider mentally ill.

With that map, however, we can follow as Nuske delves into his new theory for psychiatric labeling and prescription. He believes his approach is more accurate and effective. It follows closely with analytical psychiatry, a type of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment that began with Sigmund Freud and eventually fell out of fashion in favor of today's pharmaceutical option.

Although Nuske doesn't follow Freud (and his students, including Jung) exactly, the roots of his ideas can be seen anchoring this new theory. The result is a far more in-depth consideration of what makes for mental illness and how it is properly treated for the long-term.

Many will likely find issue with some of Nuske's propositions and some may ignore him for his lack of academic background, but discounting his ideas merely on their face without at least opening up enough to consider them is the worst kind of quackery. Agree or not, what Nuske presents is compelling enough that all should take notice.

Patients may find a few answers, even if they are just through learning of Nuske's own trials, and mental health providers can open new windows to understanding what their patients go through everyday.

Well worth the read, The Map of the Psyche is available at most bookstores both online and off in print and electronic formats.


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