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Unwell: What Makes a Disease a Disease?
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Unwell: What Makes a Disease a Disease?

Author: Mike McRae

In a world where illness seems to be everywhere, where does failing biology stop and personal responsibility begin?


Nostalgia used to be a killer nervous condition. Women who were considered overly emotional were once treated with a good orgasm, left-handed folk were beaten to be turned ‘right’, and rotten teeth were pulled to cure the mentally unwell. Just who made these diseases ‘diseases’ anyway? And what makes us think we understand any better today?


Unwell is a fascinating and insightful exploration of the ever-changing nature of illness.Using humour, historical anecdotes, scientific research and personal stories, McRae illuminates the power of disease and medical diagnoses to define who we are and how we live.


In a time when extreme violence is blamed on poor mental health, when people suffer for want of health insurance, and research dollars depend on sharp marketing campaigns, understanding the social and cultural nature of disease is vital for our wellbeing – and the wellbeing of our community.