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Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease [Paperback]

Gary Greenberg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Feb 2011

According to the Office of National Statistics, depression occurs in 1 in 10 adults in Britain at any one time. But what constitutes depression? And what role have the pharmaceutical companies played in creating an idea of depression that turns human beings into neurochemical machines? Where does that leave the human spirit? Do we ask and expect too much of science, rather than accepting that there are important matters about which we may always be unsure? Could this lack of certainty be at the heart of what it means to be human?

In his fascinating account of the close relationship between psychiatric diagnosis and the pharmaceutical industries, Gary Greenberg uses his personal experience over a two-year exposure to drug testing and different therapies for depression, backed up by twenty years of professional practice as a psychotherapist, to answer these questions and unravel the 'Secret History of a Modern Disease'.

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Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease + Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good + Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (7 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408800977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800973
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



'Impressive and fascinating round-up' (New Scientist)

'What is an illness? What is good health? What, for that matter, is medical science really for? Greenberg will make you think about these questions in ways that I'm willing to bet you haven't. Along the way, he will enlighten and amuse and provoke you in equal measure. A wonderful book from a terrific writer.' (William Finnegan, author of Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country)

Book Description

Has the antidepressant industry manufactured not only an illness but an idea of humanity that denies our full potential?

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars damningly superb 25 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a practicing clinician, I have always been sceptical about the drug company and psychiatry claims that any type of anxiety symptom or low mood is due to serotonin deficiency. The industy has underplayed antidepressant side effects and exaggerated efficacy, and this book explains why. It is to psychiatry's and the medical profession in general's shame that they have so readily believed these claims by the pharmaceutical industry.
The authorities tell us not to take so called illicit drugs because they cause upset brain chemistry; yet the best way to get a chemical imbalance is to take an antidepressant. Mr Greenberg should be commended is his exposure a modern conspiracy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both entertaining and insightful. 9 July 2012
This book can be a little heavy on the historical detail. Greenberg does, however, have a talent for picking the most entertaining parts of the sometimes frankly strange history of the medical profession, and so spicing up what could otherwise have been some very dry chapters. In fact, his writing style is light, breezy and easy to follow - even as it navigates sometimes quite complex issues, often from both sides of any conflicts that arise within them.

The book moves back and forth between the history of medicine's attempts to deal with depression, often interwoven with the surprisingly recent evolution of medicine as we know it today, and the present-day infiltrations of the author within a clinical trial for a potential depression treatment. In between is the author's commentary on what exactly is going on, and what it means for society, along with some personal anecdotes on his own experiences with depression.

Greenberg's ideas of the nature of depression would be considered controversial by many medical practitioners, and probably quite a lot of scientists. It is also heavily coloured by his career as a psychotherapist, rather than a psychiatrist. However, he does a remarkably good job of refusing to brow-beat the reader into agreeing with him; instead opting for presenting the facts and more or less only the facts, often pointing out that when he does present his own idea of what is going on, he may be wrong - especially for an individual depressive's personal circumstances. Occasionally the text does slip into some fairly leading language, clearly intended to colour the subject matter in a negative or positive light, depending on whether Greenberg agrees with it or not.
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By sp klv
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting and useful thing. It is mainly written for professionals in the field or other professionals who would like to get a deep and holistic knowledge on the topic. Also, it is very good (and maybe rather useful) for people fighting with depression themselves or their significant others. However the long descriptions of historical - related -facts may be quite overwhelming at certain points.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, engaging and well written 25 Aug 2014
It's such a pleasure to read a well written, engaging book by a credible author. I found this book very interesting, though provoking and entertaining. The author raises important questions and I like that he doesn't come up with simplistic solutions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Need to know info
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