Manufacturing Depression by Gary Greenberg

A new drug trial promised to be the magic bullet that would rid Gary Greenberg of his depression. But, as this exclusive extract from his acclaimed new book, Manufacturing Depression, reveals, he couldn't hide his suspicions at the motives of the pharmaceutical giants who peddle the pillsToward the end of my second visit to Massachusetts General Hospital, just before I got my pills, the psychiatrist leading the trial for a new antidepressant treatment, George Papakostas, asked me how long it had been since I had felt good for any appreciable time.

"Good?" I asked him.

"Symptom free," he said.

"For how long?" I asked.

"Thirty days," he said. "Or more."

I wanted to remind him that I was a writer, that I counted myself lucky to feel good from the beginning of a sentence to the full stop. I wanted to ask him if he had ever heard of betrayal, of disappointment, of mortality.

But after having spent nearly two hours co-operating with him, helping him to transmute my messy words into precise data – the formulaic questions of the Hamilton Depression Rating scale that had determined that my complaints added up to "major depression" – I somehow didn't feel free to remind him that we hadn't really agreed that I had symptoms. I'd submitted to his alchemy. I couldn't just turn myself back into lead.

Source - Telegraph

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