Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Learn more Fitbit
Customer Review

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "My purpose is to try and understand this dreadful affliction in scientific terms.", 20 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Malignant Sadness (Paperback)
Hence, as the subtitle of the book, `The Anatomy of Depression', suggests, Wolpert is essentially trying to bring some objective security to the diagnosis of depression, where in his experience of it he found confusion and helplessness. Personally, I found a little unseemly his frantic grasping for every fact, every statistic that allowed him to say that something was now `known' about the condition, a discomfort only added to by his almost hysterical bias against any kind of phenomenological approach to understanding oneself as a depressive. Wolpert still approaches depression as an illness you catch, rather than a condition you live with or through; anyone whose read Laing will remember his injunction, `one cannot catch schizophrenia, one becomes schizophrenic.' Similarly, we should be talking about depressive states and tendencies, their recognition and therapeutic engagement, rather than treatments or cures.

Anyway, that aside, the book is well written in terms of its own perspective. There are three rough sections; the first six chapters define the whats and wherefores, seven through nine provide major theories in the areas of genetics, evolutionary psychology, attachment theory and cognitive behavioural therapy. The longest chapter (predictably) centres on discussion of brain regions and their interactions through a complex system of neurotransmitters, auto-receptors and hormone imbalances. The final three chapters are an overview of current treatments, medicinal and therapeutic. Interestingly, Wolpert admits that none of the current treatments are any more effective than each other, and suggests that a mix of treatments based on an individual assessment would be most appropriate.

I'm surprised this book has been so well received, to me it seemly disappointingly one-dimensional. At no point does the author attempt to portray in his own words his experience, at no point does he offer any ground to those who might find a narrative engagement with the self important. He seems to be of the opinion that the more statistics he throws into the pot the more appealing his argument; I might have swapped a couple of chapters for one sentence I felt I could believe in. Be sure to read around, this is far from the complete and sympathetic picture the subject deserves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Sep 2013, 11:24:00 BST
R. J. Lister says:
I was about to write a review of this book, and then I found yours, with which I agree wholeheartedly. I found Wolpert's desperation to seek a solid objective explanation for his condition to be moving but ultimately misguided. Often (and often rightly) he condemns outdated psychoanalytic theories for their lack of scientific rigour, but then unquestioningly applauds the advances in chemical science, despite acknowledging that the relationship between biological brain function and the human experience of depression is impossibly complex. His approach is especially surprising when you consider that, in his introduction, Wolpert asserts that it is not possible for a non-depressive to comprehend the subjective experience of the depressive.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 24,230