You may think that vampires and werewolves were merely the stuff of bad Hollywood films and mysterious legends, but as Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud reveals, there are real people out there who believe they are werewolves and vampires. As a result, they behave in ways beyond our most disturbing dreams and the wildest fantasies of imaginative film producers. Dr Persaud uses authentic case studies to explain contemporary thinking on brain function and emotional disorders - such as that of the man who could only get his sexual kicks by being crushed in garbage trucks, the film fan who embedded dozens of needles into his body in order to become a robot, and those who take dieting to the ultimate limit by obsessively giving blood or eating nothing but toilet paper.
Through these and other conditions, such as Alien Hand Syndrome - where suffers believe that one of their own hands is out to harm them - Multiple Personality Disorder, Erotomania and the cases of some women in Turkey whose tears are actually filled with blood, Dr Persaud also suggests that we may not have as much free will and control over our bodies as we would like to believe and provides startling new evidence that these conditions might be more common than sceptical psychiatrists realize.
is a consultant psychiatrist working in the British National Health Service at the world-famous Maudsley Hospital in south London, and an honorary senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. Uniquely for a doctor, he also holds a first-class honours degree in psychology from University College London, which recently awarded him the title of Fellow in recognition of his ground-breaking work in psychiatry. Other medical awards and honours include the prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research Prize and Medal, the Denis Hill Prize and the Osler Medal. As well as medicine, psychology and psychiatry, he holds university-level qualifications in statistics, history and philosophy. Raj Persaud is the author of Staying Sane, The Motivated Mind and From the Edge of the Couch and his work has been published in academic medical journals, including the British Medical Journal, the Lancet and the British Journal of Psychiatry. He writes regularly for the national press and hosts BBC Radio 4's All in the Mind - the only broadcast series dedicated specifically to reporting on academic psychology and psychiatry. He also appears regularly on television programmes such as Question Time, Newsnight and Tomorrow's World. In a recent poll of members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists published in the Independent on Sunday newspaper, he was voted one of the top ten psychiatrists in the UK. He is married to an eye surgeon, has a son and a daughter, and lives in London.