Manufacturing Depression

Friday, February 12, 2010

More and more people have begun to ask themselves if they are happy, and if their unhappiness is a disease that can—and should—be treated by medication. Gary Greenberg discusses depression, drawing on medical scholarship, his 25 years as a psychotherapist, and his own experience with depression to show how it has been marketed as a widespread chronic disease, packaged by scientists, doctors, and marketing experts. In Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease Greenberg asks what we gain and lose with this approach.


Gary Greenberg

Comments [71]

shaani from USA

Fantastic goods from you, man. Ive study your stuff ahead of and you're just as well amazing. I enjoy what you've got right here, adore what you're stating and the way you say it.
Ralph Lauren
Ray Ban

Jan. 14 2012 05:30 AM
eric from ny

If one erroneously believes that his/her mental pressures have been directly, comprehensively alleviated by the antidepressant which was prescribed, but those pressures were comprehensively alleviated, what is the cost?

Nov. 29 2010 11:01 PM

Can we ever realistically confront and deal with the reality of human suffering, psychological and otherwise, without first questioning the root cause of that suffering? Do the Positive Psychology advocates really believe that we can simply change our thought patterns without first having concrete reasons to do so in a way that corresponds to the realities of human existence? Can we put an end to all of this pain by compartmentalizing our attacks on existential suffering from the various psychological, medical, philosophical, and spiritual camps? Aren't we in need of a single Grand Overarching Theory of the End of Suffering that takes into account all facets of existence -- producing a sublime wisdom based on empirical evidence, tested and proven? Twenty-five hundred years ago Siddhartha Gautama posited just such a theory.

Aug. 26 2010 05:32 PM
Liz Andrews from Hoboken, NJ

I have had two episodes that I now categorize as clinical depressions. Between them I experienced great grief three times - when my mother died, my husband died, and my boyfriend cheated on me. I was shattered each time - but not depressed. The symptoms of the depression included a feeling that life was worthless; the inability to taste or enjoy food; agoraphobia; and a fear that if I communicated the way I felt I might "contaminate" others and awake them from their innocent enjoyment of life. Anyone who has experienced this cannot confuse it with medical depression, which absolutely can be cured by drugs - and you can stop taking them once it is cured, as I did.

Feb. 13 2010 12:39 AM
VanessaB from NYC/CT

I love that Gary Greenberg (as well as Lopate) has talked here about that idea of time to heal being a legitimate approach. I also admire that Greenberg gives voice to the complexity of human emotions and that though there might be legitimate disease that needs medicine, in some cases (in my case, it was the deepest grief over multiple losses) medicine can actually be a terrible idea.

On another note, I was suffering at one point from a very serious undiagnosed medical condition that was actually damaging my organs. I had several doctors tell me I needed an antidepressant. I have heard many stories like this (and saw a few above) that suggests physicians do not respect the correct use of these drugs.

I have been subjected to disdain and annoyance for suggesting that these drugs might not be a panacea. I respect people who advocate for medicine to treat depression, and believe their point of view, but I strongly disagree with those who can't tolerate questioning if these drugs should be investigated and challenged and better understood (and more wisely prescribed).

I am pleased about Greenberg's work, and hope it leads to even better approaches to treating this terrible condition.

Feb. 12 2010 01:59 PM
VanessaB from NYC/CT

Fantastic discussion about depression. I despise the checklist and drug auto-solution mentality that is so often presented when discussing depression. I also find pathologizing sadness and grief quite harmful. I believe what we call depression is as complex as Greenberg suggests, and that medication can help sometimes, but that it can truly hurt, as well.

I had miscarriages that occurred that forced me to leave my career due to difficult bedresting pregnancies, and then my husband began an affair and left our marriage. I soon after became consumed with a very serious, major depression.

I was put on nine different antidepressants over a period of probably a year or so, ALL of which were their own particular nightmare. Suicidal ideation became a deepening problem, especially with SSRI's--those were the absolute worst for me--but I, somehow beneath the effects of these chemicals, realized that the chemicals were making things worse, and I hung in there.

I finally decided to give up on trying medicines. I believe they help some people, but they most definitely made my depression much much worse, and gave me other bizarre side effects.

It took time (I began to think of time as medicine) and other tactics: volunteer work, joining a support group, etc... for me to heal. It took a long time.

I feel very fortunate that somehow, I survived these medications--with each horrid effect, I could still find my "own mind" that told me that the effects were not "me" and that someday I'd be back. I am back--different, of course after this experience, but healthy and whole.

Feb. 12 2010 01:54 PM
Anita M Lopker MD from Westport, CT 06880

In his interview, Mr. Greenberg was unable to describe traditional Japanese beliefs regarding the "cause" of depression, even though his theories pertain at least partially to that. Having had experience with Psychiatry and Psychology in Japan through the World Federation For Mental Health (of which I am a Life Member), I would like to point out that one traditional Japanese belief about the cause of mental illness such as depression, particularly on the island of Okinawa, is it is believed due to insufficient veneration and respect for one's deceased ancestors. Psychiatrists in Japan are trained to respect these traditional beliefs, and to responsibly employ effective treatments when traditional approaches are ineffective in relieving suffering. Again, Mr Greenberg's scholarship appears inadequate, and insufficiently addresses the complex interplay of social, psychological, nutritional and other biological factors important to happiness and mental health.

Feb. 12 2010 01:34 PM
anonymous from Brooklyn

I think one point to take away is that while medications MAY help some people with depression, there are other modalities that may work equally well or even better (psychotherapy, exercise, dance, improv classes, cognitive behavioral therapy). The drug companies obviously have financial gain in claiming that medication will "cure" your depression (and, unfortunately, may researchers are funded by these same drug companies) but medication is not the answer for everyone. In addition, it should be noted that although medication can be helpful to some it (1) is not risk-free and (2) is likely more effective if combined with some type of behavioral/life changes.

Feb. 12 2010 01:14 PM
Edith Head from brooklyn

To all of you who feel hurt/saddened/misunderstood by this sadly shallow man's analysis of depression and the need for meds...remember that what we (meaning people with major depressive disorder and other diagnoses) have gone through what feels to us as a silent cancer...a spiritual crisis, a life changing and life disabling disease.

If any of you are anything like me and so many other people I know with depression, the meds only help me bring despondence, despair up to the level of "sadness". Suicidal ideation from the age of 8 is NOT normal. Feeling so completely debilitated by normal life circumstance is NOT normal. Now, since my diagnosis and discovery of meds, I am able to address and MOVE THROUGH things in therapy instead of staying stuck for years. I feel as if I know what it is to be a normal person with problems.

And to Leonard's typically erudite and insipid question about "the great poems of history never being written..." I can tell you, as a published poet that I am a BETTER writer--I have not lost access to my writer's tools, quite the opposite. And not likely to end up like so many of my foremothers: dead from suicide.

Feb. 12 2010 12:53 PM
Leslie Hutchinson from New York, NY

I listened to Greenberg with great interest, as there are times in your life where it is perfectly natural to be depressed, as opposed to people who have long term depression, with highs and lows.

Here's my prozac story: My mother was dying with ALS, my father with cancer, and my husband with cancer. I remember going to a new gyno and (tongue firmly planted in my cheek) had the audicity to ask "how are you?"

I started to cry. He looked at me as if i lost my mind and asked "have you ever been in prozac?" This coming from a gynecologist. I said no, and he wrote me a script for 100 months of prozac.

I thought, this guy is an example of why all doctors shouldn't be allowed to write any script that they can by law. Gee, three people dying, needing care. It was appropriate for me to feel overwhelmed and depressed.

One woman's experience.

Thanks so much for writing the book.

Feb. 12 2010 12:48 PM
Anita M. Lopker MD from Westport, CT

I have more than 26 years as both a highly regarded psychotherapist and as a highly regarded psychiatrist (M.D.), trained at Yale, and able to prescribe antidepressants. I have seen many,many cases where specific antidepressant treatment was clearly required for recovery from debilitating and life-threatening symptoms unchanged by highly skilled psychotherapy. Gary Greenberg's 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist alone have not allowed him to see the type of cases described above, so his experieence is skewed and unbalanced. While it is important to avoid unnecessary medications,
it is also important to avoid overmarketing the modality of psychotherapy, as Gary Greenberg appears to do.

Feb. 12 2010 12:47 PM
Laura Rime from New City, NY

I applaud Gary Greenburg for talking so frankly about this difficult subject. I think it is very brave of him to take on this growing trend. As the wife of someone who got anti-depressants from his GP and then definitely experienced a change of personality for the worse, I think these medications are dangerous and should only be dispensed by licensed psychologists. I think this alone would help prevent the kind of experience that my husband had, and lower the common practice of handing out these powerful drugs like candy to anyone having a down time in their lives.

Feb. 12 2010 12:44 PM
mary from NYC

After 2 decades of psychoanalysis—is that a conversation stopper or what?—I endorse fully that the treatment of choice is, at first, pills and talk therapy, and work your way off the pills! Stay with the talk therapy, longterm it will transform you if you have a competent therapist. And you can take credit for your hard work and facing up to things you never thought were in there....

Feb. 12 2010 12:43 PM
The Zoloft Kid from The Orpheum Circuit

Wouldn't The Revolution have started by now if we weren't so medicated...?

Feb. 12 2010 12:42 PM
Mike from Inwood

Does anyone know the name of the (New York Times?) article that Leonard Lopate referenced during the show about exporting of Western mental illness?

Feb. 12 2010 12:41 PM
Ken from Soho

Mike from Newark asks, "What about when everything in your life is perfect and you still feel sad and depressed for apparently no reason?" Perhaps if everything in your life is perfect, but you still feel sad and depressed, you are sad at having a "perfect life", so you decided to screw it up by taking psychoactive drugs. Now it's no longer perfect!

Feb. 12 2010 12:39 PM
Ellen from Queens, New York

Contrary to your guest's blanket assertions, I have never been told that antidepressants will make me happy. Rather, medication enables me to keep my head above water, which in turn enables me to examine, in talk therapy, the sources of my depression and methods of coping with them. My doctors' goal has never been to eliminate suffering--that is imposible. The goal, rather, is to reduce suffering.

Feb. 12 2010 12:38 PM
Anonymous from Astoria, NY

At one point my life I was becoming suicidal during my premenstrual cycle. I was sent by my therapist to a doctor to prescribe antidepression medication. In 45 minutes I was told I was bipolar and needed to take 2 different medications. I never filled those prescriptions and I spoke to a family friend who was a therapist and disagreed with the diagnosis and said that I would have become suicidal and truly depressed if I had taken those pills. Instead they recommended St John's Warts. I took that for a couple of years and now no longer need to take it. I feel that doctors are too quick to hand out drugs instead of finding out what is really going on.

Feb. 12 2010 12:38 PM
Tim Reeves from Berkeley, California

Mr Greenberg is RIGHT ON! This is coming from someone with LOTS of experience with everything from malaise to MAJOR, suicidal depression, over a long period of time, and having used all the major anti-depressants. IT SHOULD BE SEEN as "a way to get by", and yes, its effects -- in me -- can be mimicked by smoking cigarettes, for example. Use as an urgent response, I say!

Feb. 12 2010 12:38 PM
CJ from NY

If people get depressed again when they stop taking perhaps because they didn't deal with the actual cause of their depression, they were just blocking the pain of depression like drugs do with physical pain. All drugs do is mask symptoms.

Feb. 12 2010 12:38 PM
Marielle from Brooklyn

I find that a lot of these comments make blanket statements either that anti-depressants are "good" or "bad" - obviously, like everything else in life, it needs to be handled on an individual basis. Because it works for you doesn't mean it will work for everyone. And because you don't need them doesn't mean that no one does.

Feb. 12 2010 12:37 PM

Greenberg's arguments are specious, disingenuous and infuriating. I think he is doing more to malign people who suffer rather than shine a light on the problems with BigPharma. He is blaming the victim. How cruel.

I too know people who have "cured" themselves of depression. Even John Nash said he is able to control his schizoid hallucinations by force of will alone. This is not the norm.

There is a vast population of people who suffer in silence because people like Greenberg do not take a chemically imbalanced brain seriously. The breakthrough will come when science is able to analyze an individual's chemistry and target the specific imbalance. "That's" where R&D should be focused.

Feb. 12 2010 12:37 PM
Anna from Brooklyn

Does he recommend his own patients discontinue the use of the drugs he is criticizing? Has he seen satisfactory results?

Feb. 12 2010 12:37 PM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I really appreciate this interview. I think he is taking a full view of the issue, and not saying that one solution works for everyone. I think too many people come on and say LOOK I'VE GOT THE ANSWER. I like that Mr. Greenberg takes a more intimate stance. I don't think it can hurt to really think about your own situation and all possible solutions.

Feb. 12 2010 12:36 PM
Elle Rivera from Queens

How do we treat children diagnosed with bipolar disorder, since children who have been given this diagnosis will often times suffer from other mental disorders (Autism, OCD, ADHD) just to name a few. Would one disorder deserve preferential treatment over the other?

Feb. 12 2010 12:36 PM
Bob from Pelham

Leonard: You should compare this discussion with your segment yesterday on conspiracy theories. Dr. Greenberg's beliefs about Big PHarma manufacturing diseases seem to fit right into that analysis.

Feb. 12 2010 12:36 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

The array of disorders, syndromes, etc., has definitely exploded: Seasonal Affective Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder ... and plenty of non-psychological ones (Acid Reflux Disease,...)

Feb. 12 2010 12:35 PM

it seems likely that normal sadness can be misinterpreted as clinical depression, but i also wonder how much clinical depression is missed because it doesn't present primarily as sadness. clinical depression can have other symptoms.

Feb. 12 2010 12:35 PM
Matthew Sherian from Brooklyn, Ny

As one that has suffered from depression for most of my life I find your guests dismissiveness of neuropharmocology quite detremental. Most of what your commentary describes profound sadness, not depression. I strongly suggest that you educate yourself on topics such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation and the mechanisms of action of drugs. One of the key points of mental illness is that it exists in spite an apparent cause.
P.S. It is five-HTP a tryptophan precursor

Feb. 12 2010 12:34 PM
lindsay from brooklyn

It's great to hear about this book. I felt I was depressed, and sometimes suicidal, all through my life until my early twenties when I started exercizing and changing my diet. I also make art, which helps a lot. In my experience it takes a lot of effort and self-dicipline to acheive happiness. People should consider a life change before takling the pills, which can be an easy way out.

Feb. 12 2010 12:34 PM

As a psychiatrist, I agree with most everything he says about the manufacturing of the illness, like many others now, eg inadequate eyelashes now has a treatment, as well as of the pharm industry. However, althought similar, Soma is not Milltown, Please don't make Soma users fear using it.

Feb. 12 2010 12:34 PM
Lauren Bielski from Astoria, NY (Queens)

I intend to read the book—I agree with argument that the drug industry has worked to legitimize depression because it corresponded to their economic interests. (Still, the positive aspects of their efforts is that it has to some extent corroded the stigma of mental illness, which I'd characterize as a silver lining effect.) Certainly, drugs are not the ideal answer, but if they allow people to function and problem solve, then I think they serve a good purpose. Exercise, problem solving, and risk taking to change "unhappiness-producing" circumstances all make sense. But first you have to get out of bed and take a shower.

Feb. 12 2010 12:33 PM
TC from NYC

What about disorders like "Oppositional Defiance Disorder"? My sister supposedly has this, but I think she has just been a hugely spoiled brat. Is there actually any legitimacy to this type of condition?

Feb. 12 2010 12:33 PM
Allison from Manhattan

Have you ever been depress, Mr. Greenberg. It is very different from being sad. It is not mere speculation that there is a chemical component, it can be (and has been) measured by physicians. As someone who has been both sad and depressed, it feels different. I can feel chemically imbalanced at times and have had this confirmed with tests.

Feb. 12 2010 12:32 PM
Charlene Jaszewski from New York

I think that "depression" almost needs to have its definition changed. I think in our culture we almost see it as "wrong" to experience deep sadness or suffering.

Depression, in my opinion isn't sadness, it's obsessive self-analysis on crack + heroin. The inability to get out of one's own head.

Feb. 12 2010 12:32 PM
CJ from NY

I agree with him. We will not advance as a people if we constantly rely on drugs and science to cure all our problems. Sometimes, you have to work through something to learn.

Trying to shut it out or stave it off with drugs is only going to make it show up in another form.

Feb. 12 2010 12:32 PM
Harv from Manhattan

I am--with a psychiatrist's help--weaning myself off of an anti-depressant. I am very depressed but I find that I am making more insight in my talk therapy simply because for me anti-depressants seem to (1) mask my ability from really understanding the family-related causes of my depression and (2) I find that the act of seeing a prescription pad being written in my behalf, feeds an early unmet need of mine to be taken care of but I'm pretty convinced that medication will not make me feel any better.

Feb. 12 2010 12:32 PM
JK from Midtown

My therapist said she believes that i absorb my mothers depression, and says i am not depressed, just when i am around her to hear her complaining and whatnot. can you explain how smoething like this can happen, for the benefit of your listeners?

Feb. 12 2010 12:30 PM
Susan Young from New York

Some depressive medications actually treat anxiety. For example I was very shy and fearful of elevators, airplanes and subways as well as social situations. After taking Paxil the anxieties disappeared. Isn't this valuable?

Feb. 12 2010 12:30 PM
Steve from Brooklyn

This guest is making me pull my hair out.

It's long been known that SSRIs only work on ~30% of depressed patients. It's long been known that talk therapy doesn't work in everyone as well. This is perfectly consistent with other chemotherapies: Advil doesn't cure every headache, HAART doesn't save every HIV patient from AIDS. I don't see what's new about what your guest is describing.

Moreover, to package his argument as revealing the "secret history" suggests there some kind of insidious conspiracy here.

Sure not everything is known about SSRIs biochemically, but we can't wait for all the facts to be to in.

Feb. 12 2010 12:29 PM
Melodie from Somerset, NJ

Re: Depression: What about the cultural issue of entitlement and the issue of "I'm supposed to have everything I want because I'm an American..." Many people with depression diagnoses are suffering from, "There are not enough diamonds in my tiara" syndrome. As Americans, we are encouraged to believe that we are entitled to feel "happy" all the time...

Feb. 12 2010 12:29 PM
gibbs a williams ph.d. from new york city - Greenwich Village

In the light of my 43 years as a psychoanalyst I fully agree with Gary Greenberg. Depression is not in and of itself pathological. It is a normal inevitable reaction to realistic life limitations such as loss, failure, missed expectations. What tends to be over looked is most people's attitude towards depression (and anxiety, stress, and ffrustration). People who are depressed are often further depressed by being depressed. So the first most effective intervention is to help them shift their attitude from viewing depression as negative and to be avoided instead of treating it as inevitable and coming to terms with this reality. Then they need psychological tools for helping them cope. If interested inexploring this further see

Feb. 12 2010 12:29 PM
Shelly from New York

Some depressive medications actually treat anxiety. For example I was very shy and fearful of elevators, airplanes and subways as well as social situations. After taking Paxil the anxieties disappeared. It made a huge change in my life.

Feb. 12 2010 12:29 PM
Crazy from NJ

I was diagnosed as being bi polar way back in 1992. My life was completely upside down for 6 years before that. I’ve been taking lithium religiously since then. I live as normal a life as anyone else since being medicated. So am I not bi polar now? This backwards theory of "this is all in your head” is why I went through 6 years of hell before getting any help. There are many people who don’t need to be on drugs and primary care doctors should not be prescribing these drugs. But this guy is setting serious mental illness therapy back at lest 20 years…

Feb. 12 2010 12:28 PM
Michael from Brooklyn

My mother has been diagnosed with depression since her 40s but is resultant of many serious factors prior to diagnosis. she has many other ailments (eating disorders and chronic migrane pain) that make any pharmacological treatment tricky. I talk to her often about her depression and we both agree that it's much easier to take a pill to not feel depressed than it is to pursue other treatments. And drug companies prey upon this behavior. The silver bullet mentality of the pharma industry is a serious enabler to counter productive thought in modern man and his ailments.

Feb. 12 2010 12:27 PM
Barbara Edelman from New Paltz, NY

In the most courteous possible way, I feel a need to point out that pharmaceutical treatment of mental illness (including depression & anxiety) does threaten the livelihood of one, such as your guest, who makes his living via tlk therapy.

Feb. 12 2010 12:27 PM
Rob from Brooklyn

Some pretty tetchy comments here.
My wife has been taking anti-depressants for years. When I asked why, she told the tale of a college meltdown. Over ten years ago!
So why the continued need? Apparently she gets 'withdrawal headaches'.
Makes me wonder.
And yes, I do feel that the patient can 'heal thyself'. There are options other than drugs which are frequently ignored or placed in the too hard basket.

Feb. 12 2010 12:27 PM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn

Has the quest had any experience with combining bodywork with talk therapy? As a bodyworker, when working with clients who are taking anti-anxiety or depression medications, their body feels "dead" - the movements of their vital fluids are perceived to be subdued. When the medications are lessened clients feel more alive to me and to themselves.

Feb. 12 2010 12:27 PM
John from Brooklyn, NY

If the kernel of most emotions stem from fundamental survival instincts (fear, anger, etc), as some believe, is there a theory as to what function depression served in a primitive humans?

Feb. 12 2010 12:27 PM
nancy from new jersey

after 6 1/2 years of very intense sadness and therapy i made a serious attempt of suicide. not even aware of how depressed i was, and a week in the locked ward, i've been on effexor since that time and it has helped me quite a bit. do you agree on my diagnosis:major depression? and that the condition was caused by the sudden death of my son?

Feb. 12 2010 12:26 PM
Anna from Brooklyn

I would like to hear more about his background research/the foundation for his arguments for this book.

Feb. 12 2010 12:26 PM
robert Mentken

What ever happened to the theory that depressions are caused by buried feelings?

Feb. 12 2010 12:25 PM
Bill Musgrave from No CA

Fascinating discussion! Dr. Greenberg, what do you think of the elimination of the "bereavement exception" in DSM V, and how does it fit into your book's thesis? Seems like it turns any major loss into a mental illness that could be treated with drugs--conveniently for Big Pharma!

Feb. 12 2010 12:25 PM
Sarah from Williamsburg

Paroxetine (generic of Paxil) changed my life 8 years ago by making me finally feel like myself, *not* like some other character. It cleared the way for me to actively care about the things in my life that have always mattered to me, as opposed to fighting my way through wave after wave of anxiety and paralyzing emptiness. My emotional slate has *not* been wiped clean of pain or discomfort -- I still experience the spectrum of emotions that I would want to experience in a complete life. Anyone who thinks this is wrong is a sadist.

Feb. 12 2010 12:24 PM
Steve Fournier from Hartford, CT

We may have made ourselves numb to the pain that ought to accompany the stranding of soldiers in dangerous places, the incessant blare of advertising, the bombing of children, the failure of the world economy, the imprisonment and torture of innocents, and the desperation of so many families near and far, not to mention the high probability of an environmental catastrophe not long after most of us are due to expire.

Antidepressants make it possible for us to continue as if things were fine. Ensuring that things will get worse. But that’s OK.

Feb. 12 2010 12:23 PM
k from manhattan

i take issue with the statement that "anti depressants don't work' - the study showed that anti depressants do not work for those who are not truly depressed and do not need them . Anti depressants DO WORK for those who are truly in need of them. i have suffered form depression my whole life and taking zoloft literally saved my life. i hope that all this doubt as to the effectiveness of antidepressants will not discourage people who need help from seeking it- through drugs or through other means

Feb. 12 2010 12:23 PM
Charles Ferguson from nyc

Leonard, The term "bipolar" is not a fashion or trend (I forget the word you used). If you had the disorder would you prefer to be called bipolar or manic depressive?

If you were a clinician studying mood disorders in general, and bipolar disorder specifically, which label would be most theoretically suggestive and presumably more clinically useful. Bipolar, or manic depression?

Feb. 12 2010 12:23 PM
Mike Silva from Newark - NJ

What about when everything in your life is perfect and you still feel sad and depressed for aparently no reason?????

Feb. 12 2010 12:22 PM
daphne Levy from ny

Can Hashimoto's Disease be at the heart of my depression?

Feb. 12 2010 12:22 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Now I get it (some of it). So the development/discovery of drugs (1) made "possible" the characterization of more people as depressed, and (2) provided a financial incentive for characterizing more people as depressed.

(1) reminds me of the development of "chaos theory" which in some measure was made possible by the development of supercomputer technology to address problems that were completely intractable before.

Feb. 12 2010 12:19 PM
Louis Steinberg from Highland Park, NJ

If I bump my head and get a headache and take aspirin, I am happy if the headache goes away, even though we don't "really" know how aspirin works and even if aspirin is made by an evil pharma corporation.

Feb. 12 2010 12:19 PM

What difference does it make if depression is environmental in cause? A gunshot wound is environmental in cause. Does this mean it should not be treated?

Feb. 12 2010 12:18 PM
Bill from Hempstead

I had an LP promoting Elavil. It had Blues/Jazz ... I thought that was cute.... from mid '60's

Feb. 12 2010 12:17 PM
John Averill from White Plains

Would someone please ask this gentleman what are his qualifications to speak about depression. What's his scientific method?

Feb. 12 2010 12:16 PM
James from the Bronx

What is the author's definition of a disease?

Feb. 12 2010 12:16 PM
Larry from Queens

Depression is not "caused" by a "chemical imbalance." These biochemical problems are correlated with depression. A complex interaction between stress and genes produces biochemical changes and neural microdamage that may result in depression symptoms. A variety of treatments including psychotherapy, drug therapy, time, exercise, relaxation, etc. can help a person cope with these stressors and relieve the symptoms. Physiological variables are affected by environment and genes.

Feb. 12 2010 12:15 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Is Gary Greenberg doing anything more than argue semantics?

Feb. 12 2010 12:10 PM
Anonymous from NY, NY

I was on a flight and my seatmate was an anesthesiologist. In response to my question: what percentage of women being operated on are taking anti-depressants?, the anesthesiologist guessed 40%. I think this is a big problem that we do not talk about because of fears of offending women and/or showing that women are different than men.

Feb. 12 2010 12:05 PM
Alice from Westchester

Corruption exists at all levels of everything; it is our job to fight it off. Now, having said that, there are some absolutes in life:

Patients RELY on the expertise and integrity of their practitioners.........

Patients cannot heal 'thyselves'........

When and if the day ever comes that professionals truly realize this, a discussion such as this will not have to be had.

Feb. 12 2010 11:33 AM

Even if depression is not a chronic disease, it is certainly a very unpleasant way to go through life (I know from experience), so what is so controversial about treating people for it if they so desire?

Feb. 12 2010 11:22 AM
sophia from Yonkers

Formerly, I worked as a medical nurse. After I learned how tne medical/pharma industrial complex manufactures depression and other diseases, I became a Christian Scientist.

Feb. 12 2010 10:43 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.