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This has been a pivotal question since America's inception. Am I not happy enough because I am depressed? is a more recent version. In the past twenty years, as antidepressants have become staples of our medicine chests -- upward of thirty million Americans are taking them at an annual cost of more than ten billion dollars -- more people have begun to ask themselves if their unhappiness is a disease that can, and should, be treated by medication.
Part memoir, part intellectual history, part expose;, Manufacturing Depression reveals how this question has come to dominate our understanding of our suffering. Author Gary Greenberg draws on sources ranging from the Old Testament to current medical journals and scholarship to his twenty-five years as a psychotherapist and his own experience as a depression patient to show how the idea that depression is a widespread chronic disease has been packaged by brilliant scientists, doctors, and marketing experts -- and why it is has become wildly successful in the marketplace of ideas.
Rather than asking whether or not depression is a disease, or whether or not we should take drugs to ease our pain, Greenberg asks what we gain and lose by taking this approach, and who benefits when we do. Manufacturing Depression allows readers to think of depression not just as an illness, but as a story about our suffering, its source, and its relief. A remarkably intelligent, witty, and deeply perceptive writer and professional observer, Greenberg has insights and perspective that are bound to spark much debate, and challenge many -- experts and casual readers alike -- to view depression in a wholly new light.