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While he draws from a number of recent studies on depression, the book is not meant to assist in the diagnosis or treatment of individuals, except in a very general sense. Instead, Kramer adds the findings of those studies into his thoughts on how patients modify medication doses for depression as they wouldn't for purely physical diseases, and looks into future possibilities of genetically modified stress hormone transmitters that could work to prevent a slide into chronic depression. In the arts, he examines the work of philosophers, painters and writers in relation to the reputation their personal lives have earned (critics and consumers alike believe that pain equals genius and lack of pain equals lack of depth). Adding Dineson, Bellow, Updike and Kierkegaard to the list headed by van Gogh, Kramer shows a variety of ways we live with the assumption that creative genius does not function without severe emotional strain.
While he does include a few stories from a patient to illustrate specific treatments, most of the book is slow and thoughtful, without ever being dry or pedantic. Useful to families or individuals who have encountered depression, this book offers excellent support for anyone--creative genius or otherwise--who struggle to define their talents as existing separately from their illness. Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In general, Peter D. Kramer is extremely knowledgeable with a wide cultural and psychological scope *and* he is an excellent writer.
This book would do well to be required reading for anyone that either is depressed, or is in a close relationship with someone that has this treatable disease.
One new source of depressive theory comes from Grazyna Rajkowska [52 ff.], an anatomist who explored the prefrontal cortex of the brain in autopsies.
Kramer offers a new, clear, and responsible approach to depression and to those who suffer from it. The information is precise, practical and useful.Published 1 month ago by SFrealtor
My wife has read and re-read this many times. She finds it to be of comfort.
She has suffered from depression for years, and finds comfort in reading.
Dr Kramer provides a thorough analysis of the most important information available on the many aspects of derpression in an easily absorbale manner.Published 2 months ago by Tomas
The below is a review of the unabridged audio cd version of the book
This book can be split into two parts. Read more
This book is one of the best descriptions of depression I have ever read. It is a disease and, in my opinion, a slight form of real madness, and I have always suspected real brain... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Whitaker
The book makes a strong and convincing case for the need to vigorously fight depression as an illness, and advocates a clinically-based combination of both cognitive behavior... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Movia
When I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and started medication, I felt lost and flustered. Would I lose my sense of self through anti-depressants? Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by Jessica E Moss
Peter Kramer is a fallback to previous eras where enormously talented psychologists and psychiatrists ranged over broad material, both from within the discipline and from without,... Read morePublished on December 29, 2010 by Damon G. Labarbera
If you are looking for a source of practical information on the disease called unipolar major depression and are interested in learning about how this condition is medically... Read morePublished on August 8, 2010 by Alvin J. Martínez