Greenberg – Manufacturing Depression

Manufacturing DepressionIs It Wrong To Be Unhappy?
Adams, W. A. (2010). [Review of the book, Manufacturing Depresson]. PsycCRITIQUES – Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, September 1, 2010, Vol. 55, Release 35, Article 1.

Author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg has a strong opinion about depression:  except for very extreme cases, he insists that depression is not a disease, is not explained by biology, and does not need to be cured, by drugs or anything else.  Greenberg rejects and even ridicules the medical model of psychopathology and its labeling of suffering as disease.

Instead he argues that depression is a legitimate response to a savage world, a way of being, not a disease.  If you think of it as a disease, then the so-called symptoms have no psychological or spiritual significance; they are meaningless. 

“if depression is not, in short, about your transactions with the universe, but only about whether or not you have the signs of the illness, then there is only one thing left for it to be: an internal dysfunction, as stupid and brutal and meaningless as diabetes or cancer” (p. 252).  

That is a conclusion he cannot accept, and he urges readers not to accept it either. He wants to “own” his depression, not be afflicted by some arbitrary disease that means nothing. But despite what he would wish, the possibility that depression is actually just a stupid disease is a logical possibility. 

Mfg Depression  Click to see full text of the review


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