The author offers a look at depression in which he draws on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, doctors, and others to assess the complexities of the disease, its causes and symptoms, and available therapies. This book examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. He confronts the ...
The author offers a look at depression in which he draws on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, doctors, and others to assess the complexities of the disease, its causes and symptoms, and available therapies. This book examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations, around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. He takes readers on a journey into the most pervasive of family secrets and contributes to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition.
This book has an incredible amount of realism. The information contained in this book will provide the reader with a thorough understanding about depression. Comfortable to read, without having to understand technical jargon often times present in such books. A valuable book that will remain on my shelves.
Sep 9, 2007
A wealth of information....
Impeccably written and from the point of view of someone who has been there and back again, Solomon's Noonday Demon covers more than the topic of clinical depression ; it also imparts much informaton about related topics such as suicide and poverty. Certainly,this " atlas" is a must for those individuals and families dealing with this mystifying disease.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-05-14 H"Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who despair," begins Solomon's expansive and astutely observed examination of the experience, origins and cultural manifestations of depression. While placing his study in a broad social context according to recent research, some 19 million Americans suffer from chronic depression he also chronicles his own battle with the disease. Beginning just after his senior year in college, Solomon began experiencing crippling episodes of depression. They became so bad that after losing his mother to cancer and his therapist to retirement he attempted (unsuccessfully) to contract HIV so that he would have a reason to kill himself. Attempting to put depression and its treatments in a cross-cultural context, he draws effectively and skillfully on medical studies, historical and sociological literature, and anecdotal evidence, analyzing studies of depression in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, Inuit life in Greenland, the use of electroshock therapy and the connections between depression and suicide in the U.S. and other cultures. In examining depression as a cultural phenomenon, he cites many literary melancholics Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, John Milton, Shakespeare, John Keats and George Eliot as well as such thinkers as Freud and Hegel, to map out his "atlas" of the condition. Smart, empathetic and exhibiting a wide and resonant knowledge of the topic, Solomon has provided an enlightening and sobering window onto both the medical and imaginative worlds of depression. (June) Forecast: Excerpted last year in the New Yorker, this pathbreaking work is bound to attract major review attention and media, boosted by a seven-city tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-01 Calling depression the "flaw of love," 2001 National Book Award-winner Solomon (A Stone Boat) brings a stunning breadth of research to this widely misunderstood and often stigmatized illness. At least 19 million Americans suffer from chronic depression, and Solomon concedes its diagnosis and treatment are as complex as the illness. The eloquent, cerebral prose distinguishing his book (the writing of which, he says, consumed his life for five years), is mirrored in Solomon's equally articulate and refined reading style, marked by traces of a crisp British accent and a consistent, soothing tone. While outlining the major treatments, Solomon's discussion covers brain chemistry, the classes of antidepressants and their possible effects and efficacy rates, as well as the successful resurgence of electroshock therapy, talk therapy, surgical options and alternative therapies (e.g., herbal, homeopathic and hypnosis). Some laypersons may find the audio format ill-adapted for this technical portion. However, Solomon's unequivocal candor about his own at times incapacitating struggle with depression, and the compassionate, hopeful perspective he conveys more than makes up for this. Loaded with personal anecdotes, snippets of letters, interviews and recalled conversations with fellow sufferers, this audio creates a sense of intimacy many listeners may find therapeutic. Based on the Scribner hardcover (Forecasts, May 14, 2001). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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