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Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Diseaseby Gary Greenberg
Synopses & Reviews
This has been a pivotal question since America's inception. Am I not happy enough because I am depressed? is a more recent version. In the past twenty years, as antidepressants have become staples of our medicine chests — upward of thirty million Americans are taking them at an annual cost of more than ten billion dollars — more people have begun to ask themselves if their unhappiness is a disease that can, and should, be treated by medication.
Part memoir, part intellectual history, part exposé, Manufacturing Depression reveals how this question has come to dominate our understanding of our suffering. Author Gary Greenberg draws on sources ranging from the Old Testament to current medical journals and scholarship to his twenty-five years as a psychotherapist and his own experience as a depression patient to show how the idea that depression is a widespread chronic disease has been packaged by brilliant scientists, doctors, and marketing experts — and why it is has become wildly successful in the marketplace of ideas.
Rather than asking whether or not depression is a disease, or whether or not we should take drugs to ease our pain, Greenberg asks what we gain and lose by taking this approach, and who benefits when we do. Manufacturing Depression allows readers to think of depression not just as an illness, but as a story about our suffering, its source, and its relief. A remarkably intelligent, witty, and deeply perceptive writer and professional observer, Greenberg has insights and perspective that are bound to spark much debate, and challenge many — experts and casual readers alike — to view depression in a wholly new light.
• Author with professional and personal experience: Psychotherapist Gary Greenberg’s musings on the intersection of science, politics, and ethics have graced the pages of The New Yorker , Wired , and Mother Jones. A longtime sufferer of depression, in 2007 he enrolled himself in a clinical trial for major depression (after his initial application for a minor depression trial was rejected). He wrote about his experience in a Harper’s magazine piece, which received a tremendous response from readers..
• “Am I happy enough?”: This has been a pivotal question since America’s inception. Am I not happy enough because I am depressed? is a more recent version. Greenberg shows how depression has been manufactured—not as an illness, but as an idea about our suffering, its source, and its relief. He challenges us to look at depression in a new way..
• A nation of depressives: In the twenty years since their introduction, antidepressants have become staples of our medicine chests—upwards of 30 million Americans are taking them at an annual cost of more than $10 billion. Even more important, Greenberg argues, it has become common, if not mandatory, to think of our unhappiness as a disease that can, and should, be treated by medication. Manufacturing Depression tells the story of how we got to this peculiar point in our history. .
About the Author
Gary Greenberg is a practicing psychotherapist in Connecticut and author of The Noble Lie. He has written about the intersection of science, politics, and ethics for many publications, including Harper's, the New Yorker, Wired, Discover, Rolling Stone, and Mother Jones, where he's a contributing writer.
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Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General