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The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic Hardcover – February 11, 2014
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With tens of millions already on antidepressants, the expense will eventually force us to reevaluate our approach to care. The Depths is a first step.”
The personal experience of depression that Rottenberg details here lends authenticity to his mood science-focused consideration of both the origins of the depression epidemic and why it remains so tenacious and difficult to treat. As The Depths shows, our age requires innovative psychological approaches if we are to tackle the growing burden of depression and, further, to promote well-being.”
Times Higher Education
An ambitious, rigorously researched, and illuminating journey into the abyss of the soul and back out, emerging with insights both practical and conceptual, personal and universal, that shed light on one of the least understood, most pervasive, and most crippling pandemics humanity has ever grappled with.”
A compelling inversion of conventional wisdom, arguing that depression is not only a natural response to certain conditions, it's a state that often promotes our very survival.... Rottenberg's search for the fundamental sources of depression is strangely consoling, even inspiring at points. By accounting for depression in evolutionary terms, he decisively discredits any lingering explanations of depression as a character flaw. He also achieves something equally powerful: a nuanced assessment of the ever-shifting advantages and costs of depression in various circumstances.”
Jonathan Rottenberg has written a brave, insightful book. The Depths challenges us to rethink our current conceptions of depression and to find new ways to help people experience, as Rottenberg so aptly puts it, the glory of recovery.’”
Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic
Rottenberg’s practical style and talent for using real-world examples by real-world people to illustrate states of low and high mood is refreshing...the book is a wonderful first step for those who wish to better understand the illness from a scientific viewpoint. And it gives the reader hope by suggesting that depression is a common, albeit painful, human experience: that a low mood does not mean we have failed.”
The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic has the potential to revolutionize the way scientists study depression and therapists treat depression. It can provide hope for people with depression and understanding for their families.”
A stimulating book ”
In this provocative presentation of the natural history and evolution of depression, the bottom line is, strangely, both deflating and hopeful: Low mood is both inescapable and sometimes useful.’”
An important contribution to [Rottenberg’s] stated aim of promoting an adult national conversation about depression.’”
The Depths presents a paradigm-changing approach to depression by clearly and comprehensively explaining the way depression really works, describing its origins, the importance of low mood, its persistence and slide into deep depression, and most encouragingly, the climb up and out from the depths. Along the way, Jon Rottenberg dispels many myths about depression, refutes beliefs that perpetuate stigma, and shines a light on recent advances in mood science that can transform the way we think about and approach depression. Scholarly and comprehensive, yet immediately accessible and relevant, The Depths will be enormously helpful to people with depression, health care providers, and anyone who wants to understand why so many of us experience depression.”
Ann Kring, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
Depression is more common than it should be, and we still don’t know how to treat it. In The Depths, Jonathan Rottenberg points us in the right direction. Combining solid empirical research with individual stories, including his own struggles, Rottenberg situates depression in a broader and more logical context. In doing so, he provides compelling and important new insights about the phenomenon.”
George A. Bonanno, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, and author of The Other Side of Sadness
It’s rare to come across new ideas on the nature of emotion. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research and the best science available, Rottenberg unravels some of the mysteries of depression. Why is it so common? Why is it so resistant to treatment? How does a normal bout of sadness transform into deep depression? This beautifully written book offers wisdom and hope.”
Todd B. Kashdan, Associate Professor of Psychology, George Mason University, and author of Curious?
The Depths brings meaning to moods with an informed clarity that is both personal and scholarly.”
Melvin McInnis, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School
The Depths achieves a rare level of integration of a deeply personal narrative with the best of scientific thinking. Rottenberg draws from a rich array of scientific disciplines to build the case for an evolutionary model of depression. An insightful exploration of a complex and prevalent problem, this book will appeal to anyone interested in depression.”
Sheri L. Johnson, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
In this courageous and compelling book, Jonathan Rottenberg makes a moving appeal to bring depression out of the dark so that we can have an open conversation about one of the most dreaded mental disorders. Writing both as someone who has suffered from depression and as a scientist who has published groundbreaking work on this disorder, Rottenberg weaves a rich tapestry of personal stories and scientific findings. What emerges is a sober account of how and why depression arises, and what needs to be done. Everyone should read this book!”
James J. Gross, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
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Top Customer Reviews
If that sounds simplistic and like it misses a lot, that's because it's just one of many elements of depression Rottenberg touches on. I don't want to recap the whole book here; suffice to say that it's an illuminating read, particularly if you or someone you know has depression -- there are a lot of "oh, now it makes sense why [I/he/she] do/es that."
I've been treated for Clinical Depression for over a decade, experiencing several major episodes. I was able to relate to many of Jon's descriptions, and suggest the episodes are so profound, one never experiencing or closely observing the same cannot fully relate. It can be virtually debilitating, overpowering even the strongest of wills.
I've been treated in a very traditional, yet effective manner. Jon raises the prospect of a "mood-based" approach to treatment, as a means of getting to the real roots of depression, and not relying on the "chemical imbalance" sourcing so commonly mentioned. Perhaps anti-depressants are not the most effective approach, depsite the widepsread use and popularity in the medical community. If they are, why is the stated epidemic continuing unabated? Why are so many victims suffering despite the availability and use of numerous drug therapies?
Jon prudently makes no definitive pronouncements but raises questions. With his first-hand experience in mind, and as a scholar to boot, the questions are very much worth raising. Can we trace the origins of depression periods to the evolution of certain fundamental positive and/or negative moods? Study and serious consideration are in order when seemingly tens of millions are burdened with depression, and the numbers are increasing.Read more ›
Congratulations and thanks to Dr. Rottenberg for this book.
I was beginning to think, there was nothing else I could do or say to help, prior to reading, "The Depths".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Comprehensive. Forecasting the terrain we eventually inhabit, the stages, helps navigate this bugaboo. Good reading. Read morePublished 2 months ago by omar
One of the best books I have read on depression since Andrew Solomon's "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression." And that's saying A LOT. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Suzanne Cannon
A revolutionary way of looking into the cause of depression. Excellent!Published 11 months ago by Gunawan Suryomurcito
Having endured a number of depressive episodes by my fifties, including the last which persisted for several years, I found Dr Rottenberg's insights spot on and encouraging, and a... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Donnell Allan
There is very little information in this book that the well-informed reader will find original...the same well-worn path of noting that little works for depression-medication, CBT,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by D. Hughes
New way of looking at depression written by a man who had it. I found it to be a hopeful book because Rottenberg tries to bring depression out of the moral realm and look at it as... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Susan
This book presents a clear explanation of why the basic outlines of depression look like an evolutionary adaptation to problems such as famine or humiliation. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Peter McCluskey