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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas Of Depression [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Solomon
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Sometimes, the legacy of depression includes a wisdom beyond one's years, a depth of passion unexperienced by those who haven't traveled to hell and back. Off the charts in its enlightening, comprehensive analysis of this pervasive yet misunderstood condition, The Noonday Demon forges a long, brambly path through the subject of depression--exposing all the discordant views and "answers" offered by science, philosophy, law, psychology, literature, art, and history. The result is a sprawling and thoroughly engrossing study, brilliantly synthesized by author Andrew Solomon.

Deceptively simple chapter titles (including "Breakdowns," "Treatments," "Addiction," "Suicide") each sit modestly atop a virtual avalanche of Solomon's intellect. This is not a book to be skimmed. But Solomon commands the language--and his topic--with such grace and empathy that the constant flow of references, poems, and quotations in his paragraphs arrive like welcome dinner guests. A longtime sufferer of severe depression himself, Solomon willingly shares his life story with readers. He discusses updated information on various drugs and treatment approaches while detailing his own trials with them. He describes a pharmaceutical company's surreal stage production (involving Pink Floyd, kick dancers, and an opener à la Cats) promoting a new antidepressant to their sales team. He chronicles his research visits to assorted mental institutions, which left him feeling he would "much rather engage with every manner of private despair than spend a protracted time" there. Under Solomon's care, however, such tales offer much more than shock value. They show that depression knows no social boundaries, manifests itself quite differently in each person, and has become political. And, while it may worsen or improve, depression will never be eradicated. Hope lies in finding ways--as Solomon clearly has--to harness its powerful lessons. --Liane Thomas


Naomi Wolfauthor of "The Beauty Myth" and "Promiscuities"With unflinching humanity and empathy, Solomon has written a landmark work about the universal experience of chronic grief. The book is so beautifully documented and widely researched that it reinvigorates the dying tradition of the public intellectual. And for so many women who are the more likely gender to experience lasting depression, whose grief is so often trivialized, "The Noonday Demon" will be a valued sourcebook, even a lifeline.


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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr ausführlich 5. März 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Manchmal ein bisschen zu ausführlich.

Trotzdem empfehlenswert, denn für mich als Leser war es wieder mal sehr erhellend, dass ich nicht alleine bekloppt bin. Und dass es schlussendlich doch meistens wieder vorbei geht, so bes******* ich mich auch gerade eben fühlen mag.

Ein Drittel des Buches sind Anmerkungen und Quellenverweise, also nicht von der Länge erschrecken lassen. Auch wenn es sich manchmal schon ein bisschen hinzieht. Mir hat "Shoot The Damn Dog" besser gefallen, es war noch gerader, aber es ist auch nicht so wissenschaftlich wie das hier.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  261 Rezensionen
211 von 217 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A literary masterpiece about depression 6. Juni 2001
Von "tyler_derby" - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a landmark work in the history of depression. Never before has anyone described the emotions felt during depression so elegantly. Andrew's literary skill makes each page of this book a pleasure to read. The Noonday Demon is not only well-written, it is also extremely informative. The author takes us on a journey through personal experiences, provides detailed descriptions of medications and side affects, and explores the efficacy of alternative treatments. In the second half of the book he goes on to describe depression in multiple contexts such as history and philosophy.
I have been a long time sufferer of depression and I have found hope in this book. It is a subject that I have long been ashamed to speak about outside of my therapist's office. Andrew works to remove the stigma behind this illness and bring all aspects of the disease to light. Depression has no cure, it something must be dealt with and treated on a daily basis. I find strength in the knowledge that so many others are successfully treating depression, even if they are not conquering it completely.
The Noonday Demon is a remarkable work that should be read and reread.
170 von 179 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Thank you Mr. Solomon! 10. Juni 2001
Von Susan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I think I have acquired every book on depression ever written within the past 15 years in order to understand the illness. Most are good but tend to focus on one aspect of the disease, whether it be the methods of dealing with it, the medical blah blah behind it or stories from sufferers. Mr. Solomon has taken all of these and then some and put them in his book. It is by far the most concise and comprehensive book on depression that I have ever read! I was especially fascinated by the historical perspective as well as the stories from individual sufferers. The book goes into the author's own battle at great length, which automatically lends credibility since I don't think you can truly write about a subject like this unless you have actually experienced it firsthand. Lots of information on treatments, demographic data and the like. If you are a sufferer or know someone who is, get this book!
207 von 222 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A THOROUGH ANALYSIS OF DEPRESSION 12. Juni 2001
Von Sandra D. Peters - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Who, at least at one point in their life, has not been mildly depressed? As a counsellor, if you were to tell me that not once, ever in your entire life did you ever feel down or depressed, I would probably want to make sure you were still breathing. However, for many, depression can be a severe, chronic battle each and every day, and one of the biggest setbacks in an individual's life. It can be a family's nightmare, hinder careers and personal relationships, and play havoc with a person's self-image. For some, just getting up in the morning can take evey ounce of willpower. There have been many books written on depression, some are excellent self-help books, others ARE depressing to read. This book, however, is an insightful look inside depression in personal, scientific and cultural terms. The author also takes a look at the biological aspects of the disease which, for many, can be a controversial issue.
Solomon has battled depression for much of his life. Through his research and studies, he has gained valuable knowledge on the subject which he openly shares with his readers. Of the vast number of books written on depression, "Noonday Demon" is definitely one of the most complete, accurate and informative ones to be found. I also enjoyed his easy manner, occasional wit and positive approach to an affliction that for a multitude of individuals can be a disabling, life-long illness.
70 von 72 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book can save a life 30. Mai 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The most immediately obvious strength of The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon is its supple, incisive, funny, harrowing prose. Its deepest strength is its probing examination of depression from many points of view--historical, clinical, cultural, political, evolutionary, and personal. With a novelist's gift for bringing people to life and a journalist's skill at explaining complicated topics, Solomon is always informative and profoundly humane. He makes the blurry boundaries and maddening complexities of the issues involved comprehensible while arguing persuasively that depression is an inescapable reality of the human condition. The book is highly original. He tells his personal story but widens it with movingly explored case histories and successfully sets these narratives in the context of thorough examinations of the many topics necessary to see the overall subject.
The Noonday Demon can set the agenda for an important national discussion. As it makes clear, depression touches all of us whether we ourselves suffer its terrible debilities, know someone who does, or live with (and are probably unaware of) its devastating results for our communities and workplaces. I thought I knew a lot about the topic; I found how much I needed to learn by reading this book. I was most impressed by how honestly Solomon deals with the fact that there are no easy answers to any aspect of the issue, even when he has strong opinions (and his personal point of view is always welcome in these pages: I liked knowing where he stood). No reader is likely to agree with everything he says, but no one will go away doubting the truth of his cri de coeur that as long as we misunderstand depression, people quite literally will die. Highly recommended for anyone who wishes to understand what depression feels like, what it is and is not, how it can be treated, and what happens when it is ignored.
122 von 130 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen BRILLIANT: exhaustive, unbiased, riveting, compassionate 7. Juni 2001
Von Katharine Knight - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I could not put this book down. It is by far the best book on the subject of depression that I have read. The book has such range and depth; Solomon tackles all the angles of this complex subject with great intelligence, warmth and insight that he achieves a synthesis of the literary, political, medical, personal, historical, and philosophical dimensions of depression. Somehow the author manages to combine an incredibly personal and moving account of his own struggle with mental illness and that of others with a first class, rigorous text which any expert in the field would benefit from reading. His research, both academic and personal interviews, is impeccable, and I came away completely in awe of Solomon's command of the literature and handling of the numerous controversies surrounding the study of depression. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is so sophisticated a treatment of the subject that it made me constantly challenge my own views and I was left feeling exhilarated by the book's wealth of subject matter and the author's sensitive and unpatronising handling of it. The Noonday Demon is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in depression and mental illness, either personal or professional. Solomon comes across as being like the most interesting guest at a dinner party: someone you want to talk to for hours about his experiences as they are so wideranging and unusual in some instances (read the book to see what I mean). It's hard to imagine a better book on depression, and this is surprising given that Solomon is a writer as opposed to a psychiatrist/psychologist. He might as well be, however, as he appears to know at least as much as a professional does and offers us a broader and more heartfelt account than a dispassionate doctor might be able to. I feel that the author has put such mental and emotional energy into the researching and writing of this book that it deserves, in my opinion, to be seen as the spectacular product of many years of Solomon's private reflections on his own illness and the work of an extremely intelligent and gifted writer, a text which future authors tackling the thorny subject of depression will not be able to ignore.
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