The Noonday Demon: An Atlas Of Depression

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 16, 2011 - Psychology - 576 pages
16 Reviews
With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Andrew Solomon takes the reader on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.

The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness.

The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the reader's view of the world.
 

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User Review  - wishanem - LibraryThing

A thoughtful examination of depression in different cultural contexts. The author tells personal stories as well as discussing the history of the study of depression. At times there isn't a very clear ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Phil-James - LibraryThing

I was full of trepidation at the heaviness of the subject here, but in the end I am very glad I read it. He investigates depression from every angle including the view from his own break-ups, and talks to all sorts of people in many walks of life and parts of the world. Read full review

Contents

A Note on Method
11
Breakdowns
39
Treatments
101
Alternatives
135
Populations
173
Addiction
217
Suicide
243
History
285
Poverty
335
Since
445
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Andrew Solomon is a professor of psychology at Columbia University, president of PEN American Center, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, NPR, and The New York Times Magazine. A lecturer and activist, he is the author of Far and Away: Essays from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years; the National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, which has won thirty additional national awards; and The Noonday Demon; An Atlas of Depression, which won the 2001 National Book Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has been published in twenty-four languages. He has also written a novel, A Stone Boat, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award and The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost. His TED talks have been viewed over ten million times. He lives in New York and London and is a dual national. For more information, visit the author’s website at AndrewSolomon.com.

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