Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Shivers down the backbone

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 25 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4558
  1. John Quin, consultant physician, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
  1. John.Quin{at}

    Are the US writer Siri Hustvedt’s ruminations on her panic attacks likely to enrich the patient literature? John Quin reveals what one type of patient might make of it

    Dear Doctor

    I know you are a busy man, but I just had to write to you about some recent developments in my condition that I’m sure will interest you. As you know I have suffered from generalised ill health for a long time now, as detailed in the many symptoms that I have outlined in my previous letters to you (which I hope you have kept on file!). I have tried many treatments, as you know, and have consulted several specialists and have paid a small fortune in fees to iridologists, holistic practitioners, reflexologists—you name it! The reason I am writing to you again is that I think I have found a cure! Yes! I have found something that has energised me, made me wholly engaged with the world again, and it is this—Siri Hustvedt’s discursive new book about her panic attacks with which I identified completely!! I share …

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