Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease

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Simon & Schuster, Feb 8, 2011 - Psychology - 464 pages
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Am I depressed or just unhappy? In the last two decades, antidepressants have become staples of our medicine cabinets—doctors now write 120 million prescriptions annually, at a cost of more than 10 billion dollars. At the same time, depression rates have skyrocketed; twenty percent of Americans are now expected to suffer from it during their lives. Doctors, and drug companies, claim that this convergence is a public health triumph: the recognition and treatment of an under-diagnosed illness. Gary Greenberg, a practicing therapist and longtime depressive, raises a more disturbing possibility: that the disease has been manufactured to suit (and sell) the cure.

Greenberg draws on sources ranging from the Bible to current medical journals to show how the idea that unhappiness is an illness has been packaged and sold by brilliant scientists and shrewd marketing experts—and why it has been so successful. Part memoir, part intellectual history, part exposť—including a vivid chronicle of his participation in a clinical antidepressant trial—Manufacturing Depression is an incisive look at an epidemic that has changed the way we have come to think of ourselves.

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MANUFACTURING DEPRESSION: The Secret History of a Modern Disease

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Mother Jones contributing editor and self-described "old-fashioned psychotherapist" Greenberg (The Noble Lie: When Scientists Give the Right Answers for the Wrong Reasons, 2008, etc.) ponders ... Read full review

Review: Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease

User Review  - Angela Mileschkowsky - Goodreads

Probably only technically deserves four stars, but I give it the spare for bravery and lots of neat facts. Tons. Oh, and MINDBLOWINGNESS? Okay, small explosion when compared to others on similar topics I've read lately... but if I hadn't, this one would have made my brain into dust. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

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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