UIUC PSYC 238 - Solomon (1998) - Anatomy of Melancholy (16 pages)

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Solomon (1998) - Anatomy of Melancholy



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Solomon (1998) - Anatomy of Melancholy

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Pages:
16
School:
University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign
Course:
Psyc 238 - Abnormal Psych

Unformatted text preview:

Anatomy of melancholy By Andrew Solomon January 12 1998 Depression afflicts millions of American each year and many don t know where to turn when it strikes The author recalls the greatest struggle of his life I did not experience depression until I had pretty much solved my problems I had come to terms with my mother s death three years earlier was publishing my first novel was getting along with my family had emerged intact from a powerful two year relationship had bought a beautiful new house was writing well It was when life was finally in order that depression came slinking in and spoiled everything I d felt acutely that there was no excuse for it under the circumstances despite perennial existential crises the forgotten sorrows of a distant childhood slight wrongs done to people now dead the truth that I am not Tolstoy the absence in this world of perfect love and those impulses of greed and uncharitableness which lie too close to the heart that sort of thing But now as I ran through this inventory I believed that my depression was not only a rational state but also an incurable one I kept redating he beginning of the depression since my breakup with my girlfriend the past October since my mother s death since the beginning of her twoyear illness since puberty since birth Soon I couldn t remember what pleasurable moods had been like I was not surprised later when I came across research showing that the particular kind of depression I had undergone has a higher morbidity rate than heart disease or any cancer According to a recent study by researchers at Harvard and the World Health Organization only respiratory infections diarrhea and newborn infections cost more years of useful life than major depression It is projected that by the year 2020 depression could claim more years than war and AIDS put together And its incidence is rising fast Between six and ten per cent of all Americans now living are battling some form of this illness one study indicates that



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