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Fatal Pauses
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Fatal Pauses
Getting Unstuck Through the Power of No and the Power of Go

Stuart C. Yudofsky, M.D.
2015
575 pages
ISBN 978-1-58562-500-0
Paperback
Item #62500



People can become stuck in many ways and for a wide variety of reasons, explains the author of Fatal Pauses, that rare book that both clinicians and general readers can benefit from and enjoy. Novelistic in its depictions of composite patients but clear-eyed in its analysis, the book offers a “3-D method” of addressing “stuck”-ness, which is defined as “not stopping something that is bad for us” or “not starting and staying with something that is good for us.” The process of discovering why one is stuck, deciding to become unstuck, and then asserting the discipline required to do so is brought to vivid life by one of the most respected psychiatrists of our day.

The book's structure is logical and engaging:


  • The Am I Stuck? Scale can be self-administered by general readers or administered by clinicians to their patients. This first chapter sets the stage for what follows.
  • The 3-D method of getting unstuck is presented in a systematic, easy-to-comprehend manner that begins with a brief overview and proceeds to more detailed instructions and insights.
  • Riveting case examples make up the heart of the book. They are not mere summaries but consist of thorough and detailed clinical descriptions that provide context, in addition to extensive dialogue and analysis. Several of these cases are divided into multiple chapters, providing a comprehensive clinical picture to help both mental health professionals and lay readers increase their understanding of being “stuck.”
  • A range of categories or “stuck”-ness is addressed, including being trapped by career choices, limited by obesity, paralyzed by an unsatisfying marriage, incapacitated by addiction, and imprisoned by the need to please. Of special note is the case example of a young man whose interpersonal relationships have gradually, but progressively, become reduced to computer-based encounters. The author's examination of this individual’s fixation on video games and virtual realities and his escape from this cyberprison through treatment is both timely and compelling.
  • Finally, the author provides an evolutionary and neurobiological overview of how we become "stuck," which helps the reader grasp the underpinnings of this behavior and learn how to become “unstuck.”

Written in a warm and disarming style, Fatal Pauses will find a home in clinicians' libraries and on family room bookshelves.

Preface: “Pause”. Acknowledgments. Introduction: Why This Book? The Am I Stuck? Scale. Getting Stuck: Evolutionary and Neurobiological Overview. The Fatal Pauses 3-D Method of Getting Unstuck Through the Power of No and the Power of Go. Stuck in My Job: The Case of Clarke Myerson—When Depression and Anxiety Are Complicated by Dyslexia. Stuck in My Body, Part I (Discover): The Case of Ms. Anita Anthony —When an Eating Disorder Is Complicated by Sexual Abuse. Stuck in My Body , Part II (Decide and Discipline): The Case of Ms. Anita Anthony—The Fatal Pauses 3-D Diet. Stuck in My Marriage: The Cases of Helen and Blaise Hartman—When Traumatic Brain Injury Is Complicated by Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Stuck in a Bottle, Part I (Discover): The Case of Mrs. Lynda Jensen. Stuck in a Bottle, Part II (Decide and Discipline): The Case of Mrs. Lynda Jensen. Stuck in Pleasing Others, Part I (Discover): The Case of Eleanor Lai. Stuck in Pleasing Others, Part II (Decide and Discipline): The Case of Eleanor Lai—An Introduction to Supermentalizing. Stuck in Adolescence and Stuck in Cyberspace, Part I (Discover): The Case of Lester Silber. Stuck in Adolescence and Stuck in Cyberspace, Part II (Decide and Discipline): The Case of Lester Silber. Stuck in Success: The Case of Reverend Maynard Henden. Index.

"Fatal Pauses is a wonderful new book by Stuart Yudofsky. It is a book with two hearts. One is the collective music of compassion, pageantry, agony, growth and gratitude that characterize the bond between Stuart and his patients, which we’re privileged to share. The other is Stuart’s own heart and soul, which he opens to us with humility and a very personal voice. Do not fail to read this book."—John M. Oldham, M.D., M.S., Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, The Menninger Clinic, Houston, Texas; Past President, American Psychiatric Association, Arlington, Virginia

Stuart C. Yudofsky, M.D., is Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman and the Drs. Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Presidential Chair of Neuropsychiatry, of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine; Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas; and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

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