August 09, 2005

34. Against Depression, Peter D. Kramer

I found myself nodding emphatically for much of this book. It was a hard read, largely because there's a lot of technical stuff in it, but Kramer has a way of explaining depression that completely removes any and all stigma to it. If you want to understand major depression better, the large section where he explains, in fairly clear English, the current research on the disease is alone worth the price of the book.

He also takes an interesting look at the cultural history of depression as a sort of replacement for TB as a disease that only "refined" people suffer from. And of course, he deals with the old saw about "What if Van Gogh had been prescribed Prozac?", i.e., Artists Must Suffer For Their Art. That question, in fact, is what drove Kramer to write and book, and he dismantles that argument in favor of untreated depression pretty handily.

Posted by Lisa at August 9, 2005 12:02 PM | 2005
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