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The Noonday Demon

An Atlas of Depression

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Andrew Solomon takes the reader on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.

The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness.

The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the reader's view of the world.

From Publishers Weekly

May 14, 2001 – "Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who despair," begins Solomon's expansive and astutely observed examination of the experience, origins and cultural manifestations of depression. While placing his study in a broad social context—according to recent research, some 19 million Americans suffer from chronic depression—he also chronicles his own battle with the disease. Beginning just after his senior year in college, Solomon began experiencing crippling episodes of depression. They became so bad that—after losing his mother to cancer and his therapist to retirement—he attempted (unsuccessfully) to contract HIV so that he would have a reason to kill himself. Attempting to put depression and its treatments in a cross-cultural context, he draws effectively and skillfully on medical studies, historical and sociological literature, and anecdotal evidence, analyzing studies of depression in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, Inuit life in Greenland, the use of electroshock therapy and the connections between depression and suicide in the U.S. and other cultures. In examining depression as a cultural phenomenon, he cites many literary melancholics—Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, John Milton, Shakespeare, John Keats and George Eliot—as well as such thinkers as Freud and Hegel, to map out his "atlas" of the condition. Smart, empathetic and exhibiting a wide and resonant knowledge of the topic, Solomon has provided an enlightening and sobering window onto both the medical and imaginative worlds of depression.

Customer Reviews

Changed My Life

Read the book about 10 years ago and it changed my life...helped me to fully understand what I had been experiencing for years. The author's use of words to describe depression and how it affects it's victims make it easy for those who have never experienced it, better comprehend the "demon".

Excellent

Thank you so much for this enlightening and educational book on depression. I suffer from this horrible disease and feel it should be mandatory for everyone who has experienced depression as well as their family and friends. Even though, for most, it is life long struggle; I was able to find hope in the writing. The biggest benefit for me was to compare the suffering of all the characters and the realization that WE, for the most part, deal with the exact same experiences. Also, it helped to confirm that it is a serious MEDICAL illness. The writing of this book must have been laborious and excruciating at many point. I have no idea how you find the energy and desire to put all your words together to accomplish such a wonderful piece. Thank you for educating me and enlightening me.

Too Long

Not a good read, drags out topics and makes it boring

The Noonday Demon
View In iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Psychology
  • Published: Nov 16, 2011
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 576 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings