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I found this book incredibly interesting and informative. The author both gives examples and describes the concepts and research behind depression. His premise that depression is seen differently from other physical illnesses and even mental illnesses, likely because of "charm", is really fresh and interesting. However, you come away with the idea that if your amygdala is shrunken, you are sunk. One of the best reads I've had thus far.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
I found many of the authors points to be interesting and found his descriptions to be very relevant to my own experiences with depression as a sufferer and watching my family experience it. He is very passionate about his views on depression which evoked some interesting discussions between me and my spouse.
Unfortunately he repeats his views innumerable times! Over and over beating the same ideas into the ground! He argues and re-argues points! By the final section of the book where he describes the history of melancholy in literature I was simply impatient for the book to be over. I also got very tired of his mentioning all the other books he has written.
He uses a variety of technical language, which, as a medical student, I feel pretty comfortable with. However, I am not sure that arguments about hippocampal size and neurotransmitters will appeal to everyone. I have also had a number of lectures on pharmacology that make it clear to me that he over-dramatizes the importance of many effects and under-appreciates others. For example, he talks about the drug interferon alfa as being difficult for patients to stay on- the number one reason being depression. The PharmD teaching my lecture only mentioned that side effect in passing.
Overall, it was an interesting book, but I don't see myself listening to it again anytime soon and I advise caution to listeners who are bored by mentions of medical studies or uncomfortable with medical rationale.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful