Nassir Ghaemi

Biography

Nassir Ghaemi MD MPH is an academic psychiatrist specializing in mood illnesses, especially bipolar disorder. He is Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he directs the Mood Disorders Program. He is a also a Clinical Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and teaches at the Cambridge Health Alliance.

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 100 scientific articles, over 30 scientific book chapters, and he has written or edited a number of books. He serves on a number of editorial boards of psychiatric journals, is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and previously was chairman of the Diagnostic Guidelines Task Force of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD).

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. Outside of his clinical work and research, his main interests are in philosophy and public health. His interests in philosophy center on understanding the mind and mental illness, but also extend to an interest in Islamic thinkers and Sufism. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry.

Born in Tehran, Iran, he immigrated to the US at the age of 5 with his family and was raised in McLean, Virginia by his father Kamal Ghaemi MD, a neurosurgeon and neurologist, and his mother Guity Kamali Ghaemi, an art historian. A graduate of McLean High School (1984), he received a BA in history from George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia, 1986).

He is an active writer, and besides his books, he maintains two active blogs, and contributes posts or articles to other sites and magazines.

Selected Works

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.
History/Psychiatry/Psychology
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
Ideas in psychiatry
Published 2009: A sequel and successor to The Concepts, the first book length critique of the BPS model
Published 2003: A comprehensive survey of psychiatric thinking
Clinical psychiatry
Published 2009: Accessible and clinically relevant, this book describes statistical concepts in plain English with minimal mathematical content. Perfect for the busy health professional, or the educated patient, who wants to know which statistics to believe - and why.
Second edition published 2008. A clinical handbook about the diagnosis and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder

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