According to psychotherapist Gary Greenberg in the new book “Manufacturing Depression,” the “depression doctors” have simply convinced millions of people that their unhappiness is really a disease.
From a review in The Brooklyn Rail:
it’s just a story we have allowed the medical establishment to tell us. There is no biochemical marker for depression, no good way to tell who is and who isn’t depressed. The tools doctors use to diagnose depression, as well as the other varieties of mental illness, are based on symptoms alone—whether someone is eating or sleeping more or less than usual, for example, or suffering from excessive guilt, or engaging in too much self-criticism. Most of what’s diagnosed as depression is, in other words, nothing more than the name our society gives to a particular kind of emotional and mental suffering considered worthy of fixing.
Until I actually read the book, I can’t adequately comment on Mr. Greenberg’s book. However, just reading the reviews makes me wonder if the times I’ve spent with my mind filled with suicidal thoughts were just normal part of life, not because I have depression. When do we consider someone’s behavior to be a “legitimate” mental illness? And if depression is truly manufactured, then how should I view my experience with ECT? Am I just a person who’ve tragically bought in to all the lies and have gone too far in trying to ‘treat’ an “illness”?