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Mending the Mind: The Art and Science of Overcoming Clinical Depression

Oliver Kamm

3 Reviews

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Popular science

A deeply researched and highly original investigation into depression which argues the case for embracing both art and science in our understanding and treatment of the condition

Sadness is an inevitable part of life, but for most people it will usually alternate or coexist with happy times. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is a mental disorder that causes torment and anguish. It has no moments of relief. It unhinges us from everything we thought we knew about the world and makes us strangers to those we love. It is the predominant mental-health problem worldwide, affecting more than 250 million people. More than a fifth of the population of the UK report symptoms of depression or anxiety. Yet how much do we really know of the condition and of ways to treat it?

In MENDING THE MIND, Oliver Kamm recounts what it's like to be mentally ill with severe depression, and he details the route by which, with professional help, he was able to make a full recovery. His experience prompted him to find out all he could about a condition that has afflicted humanity throughout recorded history. He explains the progress of science in understanding depression, and the insights into the condition that have been provided by writers and artists through the ages. His message is hopeful: though depression is a real and devastating illness, the mind and its disorders are yielding to scientific inquiry, and effective psychological, psychiatric and pharmacological treatments are already available. Candid, revelatory and deeply versed in current scientific research, MENDING THE MIND sets out in plain language how the scourge of clinical depression can be countered and may eventually be overcome.

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Praise for Mending the Mind: The Art and Science of Overcoming Clinical Depression

  • Oliver Kamm's urbanity, erudition and compassion are raised to the power of two in Mending the Mind. He put them to work in crafting this gorgeous and urgent book, and on every page they remind us of his moral that enviable gifts are no protection against the affliction of depression

  • A tour de force that is not just personal, but looks at depression through science, art, literature and history. The combination makes it an important, affecting and effective book

  • There are lots of books on depression, but not many combine both an authentic and moving personal story with rigorous research and analysis. Kamm tackles the big questions on depression, and his answers are clear, unsentimental and compelling

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Oliver Kamm

OLIVER KAMM is a leader writer and columnist for The Times. His book ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN: THE NON-PEDANTIC GUIDE TO ENGLISH was published by W&N in 2015.

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