Scott's Reviews > Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease

Manufacturing Depression by Gary    Greenberg
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's review
Apr 10, 2011

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bookshelves: psychology
Read from January 25 to April 10, 2011

I was prompted to read on the subject of depression because in the past decade or so, I have known or known of many children that have been diagnosed as such. I have also gone through a personal experience of a loved one whom I never really felt had clinical depression, yet was being medicated for such. Sure the child had some issues, but I just felt the soul of that child was gone under the influence of. To not go into this too deeply, this was a process I witnessed for several years, and it wasn't until a serious suicide attempt and going through the withdrawal of the medication, did the process of reclaiming this now young adult's life truly begin. During this time it seems to have become more common that we know or know of several youth who have committed suicide. Several I have known of were receiving an anti-depressant. As we are being bombarded with ads about these "miracle cures", have we become immune to the disclaimers........."suicidal thoughts"? Now I'm even seeing ads for meds that supplement the anti-depressants, with the same disclaimers.

Although I found much of Greenberg's work laborious reading, there is depth in his research. He offers the reader a great over view of how depression has been manufactured as a "disease" and the industries that have sprung up to capitalize on this. Not to say depression doesn't exist, but I've always felt that if you truly know someone, your powers of observation and common sense might help you realize if someone is truly inflicted with deep depression. After all, as Greenberg often points out, it is part of life for us all to experience sadness. Also from a Buddhist perspective, we all need suffering to more deeply appreciate the good.

What is good about books such as this and the works of say Pollan, is that we gain knowledge that empowers us as individuals to make better choices for ourselves. This is important to realize. For when I make these types of recommendations, I often hear, "I don't want to read about doom and gloom". In this complicated world, books such as this don't make me an expert, but I do have greater independence on making a choice that serves my better interest.

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