Madeleine Davies

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Manufacturing depression

In Health on April 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

At the age of 30 Gary Greenberg found himself on the floor, watching dust specks float through sunbeams for hours, “racked by some unspecific pain”. Newly divorced, it did not occur to him at the time – 1987 – that he was suffering from what was later diagnosed as depression.

Manufacturing Depression is his account of his search through history for the origins of both his diagnosis and the cures recommended by doctors. But this is not a self-help book or even, primarily, an autobiography. Greenberg believes that the medical industry has acquired too much power over our lives – “the power to name our pain and then sell us the cure one pill at a time.” He writes to expose, seeking to illuminate a climate of opinion – that depression is a chronic disease that can be treated through medicine – that has become “as invisible to us as the sea is to fish”. What he uncovers is difficult to ignore.

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