Nassir Ghaemi


Nassir Ghaemi MD MPH is a psychiatrist and researcher specializing in depression and bipolar illness. He is the author of A First-Rate Madness, among other books.

He is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and also Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Since October 2017, he also has been employed at Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research in Cambridge MA, where he leads clinical psychiatry research on discovery and early development of new drugs (Director, Translational Medicine-Neuroscience).

In the past, he trained and worked mostly in the Boston area, mainly in Harvard-affiliated hospitals (McLean Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Cambridge Hospital). He has also worked at George Washington University, and Emory University. His medical degree is from the Medical College of Virginia/​Virginia Commonwealth University.

His clinical work and research has focused on depression and manic-depressive illness. In this work, he has published over 200 scientific articles, over 50 scientific book chapters, and he has written or edited over half a dozen books. He is an Associate Editor of Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

After his medical training, he obtained an MA in philosophy from Tufts University in 2001, and a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2004.

Born in Tehran, Iran, he immigrated to the US at the age of 5 with his family and was raised in McLean, Virginia.

All views expressed on this website and in any of his works are his alone, and do not reflect those of his employers.

Selected Works

Clinical Psychiatry
A new textbook on the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions. Oxford University Press, 2019.
Psychiatry, psychology
Depression is complex, and we need guides to help us understand it, guides who comprehend it existentially as part of normal human experience and clinically as sometimes needing the right kind of treatment, including medications. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
An investigation into the surprisingly deep correlation between mental illness and successful leadership, as seen through some of history’s greatest politicians, generals, and businesspeople. Penguin Press, 2011.
Ideas in psychiatry
A sequel and successor to The Concepts, the first book length critique of the BPS model. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
A comprehensive survey of psychiatric thinking. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
Clinical psychiatry
Accessible and clinically relevant, this book describes statistical concepts in plain English with minimal mathematical content. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
A clinical handbook about the diagnosis and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Wolters Kluwer, First edition 2003, Second edition 2008.

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