Summary and book reviews of Against Depression by Peter Kramer

Against Depression

by Peter D. Kramer

Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer X
Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2005, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A revolutionary exploration of mood disorders by the author of the landmark bestseller Listening to Prozac.

A decade ago, with his breakaway bestseller, Listening to Prozac, Peter Kramer revolutionized the way we think about antidepressants and the culture in which they are so widely used. Now, he returns with a profound and original look at the condition those medications treat—depression. He asks: If we could eradicate depression so that no human being ever suffered it again, would we?

Depression, linked in our culture to a long tradition of “heroic melancholy,” is often understood as ennobling—a source of soulfulness and creativity. Tracing this belief from Aristotle to the Romantics to Picasso, and to present-day memoirs of mood disorder, Kramer suggests that the pervasiveness of the illness has distorted our sense of what it is to be human. There is nothing heroic about depression, Kramer argues, and he presents the latest scientific findings to support the fact that depression is a disease—one that can have far-reaching health effects on its sufferers.

Frank and unflinching, Against Depression is a deeply felt, deeply moving book, grounded in time spent with the depressed. As his argument unfolds, Kramer becomes a crusader, the author of a compassionate polemic that is fiercely against depression and the devastation it causes.

Like Listening to Prozac, Against Depression will offer hope to millions who suffer from depression—and radically alter the debate on its treatment.

What It Is to Us
One
The Final Memoir

SHORTLY AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF Listening to Prozac, twelve years ago, I became immersed in depression. Not my own. I was in my forties and contented enough in the slog through midlife. But mood disorder surrounded me, in my contacts with patients and readers. Messages from parents with depressed children and husbands with depressed wives filled my telephone answering machine; letters dense with personal history crammed the mail slot. In their volume, in their particularity, these contacts were sobering, overwhelming, disorienting. Less intimate overtures came my way. Reporters and talk show wranglers approached me about the significance of drug company initiatives, antidepressant-related lawsuits, and mental health legislation. Colleagues invited me to join colloquia on particular therapies. Advocates of partisan views of mood disorder e-mailed me with propaganda, asking me to sign on.

Immersion has a ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

A thoughtful, sometimes controversial look at depression. However, the audio book, read by Kramer in an ironically depressing monotone, is a disappointment. No doubt Kramer is a fascinating man stuffed full with fascinating ideas but his reading style is a little dull!   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review (548 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

Publisher's Weekly
Resolute but not preachy, this book is an important addition to the growing public health campaign against depression.

Kirkus Reviews
A clear, valuable exposition of the progress researchers are making in understanding an all-too-common disease.

The Washington Post
In his new book, Peter D. Kramer examines depression with a cool, intelligent and sympathetic eye. He asks two interesting questions: If we could eradicate depression, would we? And if we did, would we lose anything of value?

San Francisco Chronicle
Kramer makes an eloquent case for considering depression a disease... Captivating, convincing and thorough.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

According to the prozac.com website:

  • Prozac has been taken by more than 54 million people since its introduction in 1986, making it the most widely described anti-depressant medicine in history.
  • More than 18 million Americans suffer from some type of depression, and one in eight persons need treatment for depression during his or her lifetime.
  • Depression is a recurring illness.  If you have one episode there is a 50% chance of another, if the recurrence rate increasing with the number of episodes.
  • Untreated, depression can last up to 6 months or longer.
  • An estimated 15% of people with chronic depression commit suicide.
  • Due to the social stigma still surrounding depression, the National Institute...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Peter D Kramer

If you liked Against Depression, try these:

  • Mr. Chartwell jacket

    Mr. Chartwell

    by Rebecca Hunt

    Published 2011

    About this book

    More books by this author

    In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel about Mr. Chartwell, a upright walking, talking black dog, an eminent statesman at the end of his career, and the vulnerable young woman.

  • A Fractured Mind jacket

    A Fractured Mind

    by Robert B. Oxnam

    Published 2006

    About this book

    The harrowing, insightful, and courageous account of a prominent man's struggle with multiple personalities.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everything Inside
    Everything Inside
    by Edwidge Danticat
    Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer, and Haiti looms large as a presence in this ...
  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.