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

May/June 2010 Issue

In the hands of Big Pharma, medicating melancholy translates to cold cash. But for Greenberg, a psychotherapist, it goes deeper than that: The overselling of chemical cures has left our Prozac nation unable to distinguish between run-of-the-mill sadness (which doesn’t need a pill) and genuine illness (which may need more than just meds). Even so, “I’m not worried that antidepressants will turn us into mind-numbed, smiley-faced zombies entirely,” he writes. “The drugs aren’t that effective, at least not yet.”

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