New insights into body and mind

Suzanne O'Sullivan wins the Wellcome Book Prize 2016.

Consultant neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan (pictured, photo by Thomas Farnetti) has been awarded the Wellcome Book Prize 2016 for It’s All in Your Head, her journey through the world of psychosomatic illness, published by Vintage. 

It’s All in Your Head examines the debilitating illnesses that are medically unexplained. A third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that don't appear to have an obvious medical cause. Merging autobiography with absorbing case histories taken from her clinical experience, O’Sullivan’s work spotlights an area of increased attention in medical science – the boundaries between what afflicts the body and the mind and how deeply related the one is to the other.

Announcing the winner, chair of judges Joan Bakewell, said: “From a broad field of submissions, including an exceptionally strong shortlist, Suzanne O’Sullivan’s It’s All in Your Head was unanimously chosen as our winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2016. It is a truly impressive book, chosen for its many virtues. Suzanne O’Sullivan is a consultant neurologist and her first-hand accounts of diagnosing her patients offer new insights into the relationship between the body and the mind. The fact that society divides them into two medical disciplines - the physical and the mental - is being increasingly challenged. O’Sullivan’s book brings to light important examples of how the two inter-relate.”

- Read more on this year's shortlist and the presence of psychological themes. Find more in our archive on 'medically unexplained symptoms'.

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