We live in an era of depression, a condition that causes extensive suffering for individuals and families and saps our collective productivity. Yet there remains considerable confusion about how to understand depression. Depression: Integrating Science, Culture, and Humanities looks at the varied and multiple models through which depression is understood. Highlighting how depression is increasingly seen through models of biomedicine—and through biomedical catch-alls such as "broken brains" and "chemical imbalances"—psychiatrist and cultural studies scholar Bradley Lewis shows how depression is also understood through a variety of other contemporary models. Furthermore, Lewis explores the different ways that depression has been categorized, described, and experienced across history and across cultures.
"Depression is a remarkable act of synthesis. Bradley Lewis expertly pulls together scientific, philosophical, and cultural literatures about this most enigmatic mental illness in compelling and highly readable fashion. The result is nothing short of a breathtaking rethinking of mental illness; one that takes science seriously, but that also engages with critiques of brain scans and pharmaceuticals. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about psychiatry, culture, and the relationships between them."—Jonathan Metzl, Sociology and Medicine, Health and Society, Vanderbilt University
Introduction. PART I: The Facts. 1. What We Teach Our Doctors. 2. What We Also Know. PART II: Historical and Cultural Context. 3. Western History. 4. Cultural Context. PART III: Theoretical and Clinical Concerns. 5. What We Will Never Know. 6. Clinical Encounters. Conclusion.