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Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class
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Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Reveals the dark side of the staggering rise in antidepressant prescription, alternative medicine, etc.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 18th 2007 by Basic Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 15, 2008 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book appeals to my beliefs. Dworkin, a scholar at the right leaning Hudson Institute and anesthesiologist, writes about dealing with unhappiness. His point is that unhappiness can be a valuable emotion that makes us alter our present state to obtain happiness. Get a divorce, change your job, go back to school, etc. Instead of dealing with the root causes of unhappiness, we choose to deal with the symptoms. First, Dworkin looks at the pharmacueticals. When depression became more of a ...more
Stephanie Phillips
Mar 01, 2015 Stephanie Phillips rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I gave up on this book on page 146. It drags on and on--I found myself having to reread entire pages because I had stopped paying attention to what I was reading. His initial hypothesis seemed interesting--do psychotropic meds give people the illusion of happiness by removing the motivation to change circumstances that might be contributing to depression [his example] in the first place?--but then he kind of wanders away from that. He shows a clear derision for alternative medicine and the idea ...more
Jun 23, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I gotta say that this guy makes some incredibly sweeping generalizations, and half-assed arguments about placebos and alternative medicine. His historical research is decent, but I suspect that the conclusions he comes to were decided apriori.
I must say though I am curious as to how this argument fits into the whole conservative worldview (it took me reading the book jacket quotes to find out that he and his supporters are hard-core neocons). He argues that medicating yourself makes you less lik
Oct 11, 2008 Martha added it
Written by a practicing physician reflecting on society's current misunderstanding of feeling and clinical ailments. Overmedicalization has caused unhappiness to be viewed as a disease to be treated with psychotropic drugs instead of changing one's own life. If a physician feels that the best remedy is reflecting on one's own situation instead of stupefying oneself with desensitizing neurotransmitter influencing pills, you know society is in trouble. Very similar to Brave New World, except the ...more
Jiajia Liu
Aug 11, 2014 Jiajia Liu rated it did not like it
I borrowed this book when i was first diagnosed with clinical depression. I was debating with myself and doctors about whether i should get on SSRI. This books says no, but after reading about the conservative agenda the author carries, i decided to get on the medication. It saved my life.

this book was terrible, it was not a fun read.
Mar 07, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Very interesting--and Gosh knows I can see the negative impact of artificial happiness all around me. Children are growing up believing pills are the answer in many cases wheree they aren't. It really can't be good for their social development, can it? I really like the case studies and the explanations.
Nov 16, 2011 Janee' rated it it was ok
I couldn't really get into the book. Im a health care professional and I thought this book was very one sided. I never finished reading the entire book.
Apr 05, 2009 Jenny added it
Boo! I didn't like this book and think he's too one sided and over simplistic when looking at mental health issues. I couldn’t finish it.
Aug 09, 2011 May added it
Shelves: sociology
Interesting book. Really puts into perspective the history of happiness and the expectations associated with it. Intriguing.
Oct 11, 2008 Elissa added it
didn't finish it actually. It read kind of like a textbook
Sheyenne Shi
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May 17, 2010
Robert Menafee
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Jul 12, 2007
Ellen rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2008
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Mar 12, 2012
Heather Reeves
Heather Reeves rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2016
Ted rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2011
Dec 17, 2008 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: already-read
I read this for school. The author's perspective of taking antidepressants was very good.
Nissa rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2010
Emily rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2009
Jay Close
Jay Close rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2016
Brande Batcheller
Brande Batcheller rated it it was ok
Feb 13, 2013
CHANEL rated it it was ok
Aug 03, 2015
Silvia Palermo
Silvia Palermo rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2014
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Clayton rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2012
Emily rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2011
Terance Cantrell
Jan 17, 2008 Terance Cantrell rated it liked it
That there can be profound moral implications to the use of psychotropic medications.
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Ronald W. Dworkin is political philosopher and an anesthesiologist.
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“The tension between religion and science is an old problem. In the fourth century, Christians and scientists were deadlocked over the matter of the earth's shape. Saint Augustine, a wise man who knew the difference between the outer life and the inner life, wrote: 'What concern is it of mine whether heaven is like a sphere and the earth is enclosed by it and suspended in the middle of the universe, or whether heaven like a disk above the earth covers it over on one side? These facts would be of no avail for my salvation.' Augustine attached little importance to science and left it alone. If a reading of the Bible conflicted with a scientific view that was certain truth, he humbly admitted that he had interpreted the Bible erroneously. He could afford to be humble, for in his inmost convictions he looked upon science the way a master looks upon his pet, as a creature with intelligence but lacking in higher understanding, and something irrelevant to the search for meaning in life.” 0 likes
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