By Amy Goodman
March 3, 2010
A psychotherapist says depression can be debilitating — but that it’s also been largely created by doctors and drug companies as a medical condition.
Is depression manufactured? Two decades after the introduction of antidepressants, it’s become commonplace to assume that our sadness can be explained in terms of a disease called depression. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates more than 14 million Americans suffer from major depression every year and more than three million suffer from minor depression. Some 30 million Americans take antidepressants at a cost of over $10 billion a year.
My next guest argues while depression can be debilitating, it’s also been largely manufactured by doctors and drug companies as a medical condition with a biological cause that can be treated with prescription medication. Psychotherapist and writer Gary Greenberg participated in a clinical trial for antidepressant medication and found that more often than not the drugs failed to outperform placebos. His latest book is a scientific, medical, historical and cultural exploration of the antidepressant revolution here in the United States. It’s called Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease.