Evolutionary Psychiatry


Nesse, Randolph M. (2017). Evolutionary foundations for psychiatric research and practice. In B. J. Sadock, V. A. Sadock, & P. Ruiz (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock’s comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (Tenth edition, pp. 769–780). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Explaining depression: Neuroscience is not enough, evolution is essential, 2009

Why has natural selection left us so vulnerable to anxiety and mood disorders? Can J Psychiatry, 2011

Evolutionary psychology and mental health. 2015

A general ''Theory of Emotion'' is neither necessary nor possible, Emotion Review, 2014

Nesse Anorexia: A Perverse Effect of Trying to Control the Starvation Response BBS 2017

Nesse, Finch, Nunn: Evolution, Sleep, & Alzheimer's Disease, 2017

Nesse, RM: Evolutionary Psychology and Mental Health. Pages 903-937 in Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Edited by David Buss, John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken , NJ, 2005. Best general overview. See the 2015 revision.

Nesse RM, Stein DJ. Towards a genuinely medical model for psychiatric nosology. BMC Med;10(1):5, 2012.

Nesse RM. An evolutionary perspective on panic disorder and agoraphobia. Ethology and Sociobiology;8:73S-83S, 1987.

Nesse RM: An evolutionary perspective on psychiatry. Comprehensive Psychiatry 25:575-580, 1984 . An early overview of what evolutionary biology provides for psychiatry.

Nesse RM: What good is feeling bad? The evolutionary utility of psychic pain. The Sciences, 30-37, Nov./Dec. 1991.

An informal short overview of how negative feelings can be useful, with lovely illustrations

Articles on specific disorders

Nesse, RM: Evolutionary explanations for mood and mood disorders. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Mood Disorders, edited by Daniel J. Stein , David J. Kupfer, and Alan F. Schatzberg, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington DC, pp. 159-175, 2006.

This textbook chapter is the best starting place for clinical professionals who treat depression

Nesse RM. Explaining depression: Neuroscience is not enough, evolution is essential. In: Pariente CM, Nesse RM, Nutt DJ, Wolpert L, editors. Understanding depression: A translational approach. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 17-36, 2009.

Why has natural selection left us so vulnerable to anxiety and mood disorders? Can J Psychiatry, 2011

Nesse & Stein: Towards a genuinely medical model for psychiatric nosology, BMC Medicine, 2012

Nesse RM, Berridge K Psychoactive drug use in evolutionary perspective. Science, 277: 63-65, 1997.

Nesse RM: What is mood for? Psycholoquy 2: Issue 9.2, November 24, 1991.

An early statement about the utility of moodNesse RM Emotional Disorders in Evolutionary Perspective. British Journal of Medical Psychology 71:397-415, 1998.

Some focus on depression, in an article on how evolution can help explain emotional disorders

Nesse RM Is depression an adaptation? Archives of General Psychiatry, 57: 14-20, 2000.

This is the classic statement, the widely cited first article for the new millenium in The Archives

Nesse RM. Explaining depression: Neuroscience is not enough, evolution is essential. In: Pariente CM, Nesse RM, Nutt DJ, Wolpert L, editors. Understanding depression: A translational approach. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 17-36, 2009.

Best current statement of my ideas about depression

Nesse, RM: Motivation and Melancholy: A Darwinian perspective. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 2001.

A general treatment of motivation and mood

Nesse RM: Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci; 359(1449):1333-47, 2004

If natural selection is so great, why are we so prone to anxiety and depression? The answer is here.

Nesse, RM: Evolutionary Psychology and Mental Health. Pages 903-937 in Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Edited by David Buss, John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken , NJ, 2005.

The most comprehensive statement of how evolutionary biology can help us to understand and treat mental disorders