Welcome to the website of author & composer, Patrick Ussher.
I originally hail from Dublin, Ireland.
I am an author of books on both philosophy and health and you can learn more about my book projects below.
I am also a composer of contemporary classical music. I am delighted to be part of the Artlist catalogue, a leading online music library for filmmakers. I have around 60 tracks on that library and have had over 80,000 downloads of my music there. I am also glad to be part of the Select Music Library catalogue.
My music can also be listened to on Spotify.
I have a BA & MA in Classics (Ancient Greek & Latin) from the University of Exeter, UK. I was doing a PhD in Stoic philosophy but had to quit this due to chronic, and still ongoing, health issues.
These days, I am working on various books, but hope, in the not so distant future, to return to university as a mature student and study music, making music my main focus in life.
Starting at the age of 18 and all through my time at university, I composed music in my spare time. In the past five years, I have had the opportunity to work on my music much more and this led to me composing new pieces, polishing up older ones and producing around 60 tracks of music in a contemporary classical style. Wherever my pieces have strings, whether cello or violin, these are live.
I did study music in the Irish school leaving certificate but I have not studied music theory since then and I have no formal training in composition: all of my music is composed 'by ear'.
Recent release in which my favourite version of 'Life's Sweetness', with piano and string quartet, is released alongside more upbeat, electronic versions of it and other songs.
In addition to the books below, I have also recently written a popular but pseudonymous political satire.
POTS: What It Really Is & Why It Happens
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a debilitating and often disabling autonomic illness that affects at least one million people worldwide. In the book, I argue that the condition's cause stems from a misfiring in the limbic system in the brain and that this can be corrected through neuroplasticity. I had this illness some years ago but recovered from it (although subsequently developed other chronic health issues, unfortunately, but that's life!). I have a YouTube channel and website connected with the book.
Stoicism & Western Buddhism
A comparison of two philosophical ways of life, Stoicism, the ancient Greco-Roman philosophy, and Buddhism as practised in the West. Although there is no direct influence of the one on the other, I argue that both philosophies share many similarities and could also learn from each other. This book stems from research I did during my MA at the University of Exeter.
Following the Pink Ribbon Path
This is a new edition of The Pink Ribbon Path, originally written by my late mother (Mary Redmond-Ussher). It is spiritual path for those facing serious illness, originally compiled by my mother during her six years with breast cancer. This new edition includes additional writings by those touched by my mother's original book as well as an introduction by myself on how I saw my mother live during her years of illness. I spoke about the book and my mum on Irish radio station, RTE.
Stoicism Today Vol I
In 2012, I founded the Stoicism Today blog, which I then ran for four years. These two books are compilations of some of the best pieces from that time. The Stoicism Today project, now known as Modern Stoicism, is a collaboration between academics and psychotherapists working on developing Stoic resources for the modern-day. I was part of the team from 2012-2016. Every year, the project runs 'International Stoic Week' which is followed by thousands of people worldwide.
The Myth of Primary Polydipsia
This is a hypothesis in which I challenge the condition known as 'psychogenic water drinking' (aka 'Primary Polydipsia'). This condition is currently regarded as involving the overconsumption of fluids as a result of mental illness. However, the cause is also acknowledged as unknown. In this book, I suggest that the typical clinical presentation of dilute urine, hyponatraemia and unquenchable thirst can mainly be explained with reference to the low blood volume, and the thirst this creates, in illnesses such as ME/CFS, POTS and Long Covid. Available as a free download here.
Patrick Ussher © 2023