Book Review: Manufacturing Depression by Gary Greenberg

by Sierra on October 16, 2010

How many people in the US are depressed at any time? What percent of the US population experiences depression or other mood disorder in their lives? The number is big and growing. The National Institutes of Health answers the question in their posting on The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America.

Gary Greenberg is a practicing psychiatrist and depression sufferer who is fascinated by the growth in the number of people diagnosed as depressed. He examines the issue in his new book, Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease. He reviews the history of how society has dealt with depression in the past and summarizes his take on the trends in current treatment.

Greenberg’s book is controversial because he questions the medicalization of depression and highlights the role of drug companies in inciting the use of an ever growing cornucopia of antidepressants. The book is engaging because he shares his experiences as a psychiatric patient and participant in a double blind antidepressant drug trial.

The growing tide of recent developments in brain science has brought with it a flood of articles and books interpreting current and past depression treatments in light of the new discoveries. You can judge for yourself how Greenberg’s book fits in with the massive literature available on the subject of mood disorders.

Gary Greenberg You can read the author’s blog, information about this book (including reviews and excerpts), interviews and other wrtings.

Amy Goodman interviews Gary Greenberg on Manufacturing Depression
45 minute radio interview on Democracy Now

Head Case – Can psychiatry be a science?
This New Yorker magazine article discusses two books that address recent trends in the field of psychiatry. Greenberg’s “Manufacturing Depression” is compared to Irving Kirsch’s “The Emperor’s New Drugs.”

Critical View
Lewis Wolpert takes issue with a book that accuses drug manufacturers of hyping depression
A new drug trial promised to be the magic bullet that would rid Gary Greenberg of his depression. But, as this exclusive extract from his acclaimed new book, Manufacturing Depression, reveals, he couldn’t hide his suspicions at the motives of the pharmaceutical giants who peddle the pills

The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth