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.