Review: Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease

  • May 28, 2010
  • James Skemp
  • review

This is a review of Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease, written by Gary Greenberg.

I selected this book based on the following lines of a highlighted review:

“He offers a measured dose of philosophy in contemplating whether unhappiness should be regarded as a disease or instead as an essential part of being human. Ultimately, his book is a sobering critique of the marketing wizards who have overhyped the dubious benefits of antidepressants and of an American public all too eager for quick fixes to life’s inevitable challenges and disappointments.”

Unfortunately, the philosophical aspects are barely touched upon, focusing instead on the historical aspects, and current state of affairs. Despite this, Greenberg’s writing style is fairly nice, albeit at times disjointed, making this an interesting read, especially in regards to the history of depression and attempts to treat the disease.

For whatever reason, however, it was extremely difficult for me to pick up the book and start reading it, despite enjoying the previous day’s chapter(s).

Greenberg merely alludes to the philosophical aspects of depression, so I’d recommend this book more towards those interested in the historical aspects. Those who believe they suffer from depression and (may) need pills to feel better/normal, may also enjoy reading this book. Despite getting into technical discussions on the body, the book is suited for the average reader.

3 of 5 stars as I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but had a hard time picking it up to read another chapter.