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. Psychotherapist Gary 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.
In the 20 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.
©2010 Gary Greenberg (P)2010 Tantor
Greenberg blends gonzo journalism, scientific literacy, and wry critical thinking into an engrossing, enlightening, and provocative work of art. Another reviewer called this book a rant but it is the opposite of a rant; the author never repeats himself but instead constantly reassesses his beliefs according to the evidence at hand, tweaking them to conform to his changing experiences. Instead of a rant, the book is a dialectic, a series of conflicts and resolutions, the backbone to a great story. In addition, Greenberg isn't afraid to explore the idea that treating depression with drugs could be yet another concession that democracy makes in the face of advanced capitalism. Greenberg is not a timid writer. He is also astonishingly smart about how to analyze the facts of his subject not only in the best terms that science promises (not mystifying jargon but razor-sharp logic and metacritical rumination) but also in terms of the (frankly fascinating) history of science. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and I an shocked that The Emperor of All Maladies received so much press whereas it was pure chance that I heard about this book. Yes, The Emperor of All Maladies is a very good book, but Manufacturing Depression takes more risks by drawing narrative steam from the engine of the romantic-self and the democratic society rather than the lachrymal-melodrama of the cancer ward.
The content is important but this book is overloaded with personal anecdotes and irrelevant trivia. In addition, the author is so negative about everything, that it's hard to know if he could say something worked if it did.
the best listen so far
I was "treated" by ignorant family doctor with antidepressants when in fact I had Lyme disease.. recently diagnosed and apparently too late for a chance of getting cured fast and easy. I lost years of my life because incompetent doctors found it easier and more convenient to feed me antidepressants instead of sending me fore more diagnosis investigations.
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