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Depression once a subeld of neurosis has be- come the most diagnosed mental disorder in the world. Why and how has depression become such a topical illness and what does it tell us about changing ideas of the individual and society Alain Ehrenberg investigates the history of depres- sion and depressive symptoms across twentieth- century psychiatry showing that identifying depression is far more difcult than a simple diag- nostic distinction between normal and pathologi- cal sadness the one constant in the history of depression is its changing denition. Drawing on the accumulated knowledge of a lifetime devoted to the study of the individual in modern democratic society Ehrenberg shows that the phenomenon of modern depression is not a construction of the pharmaceutical industry but a pathology arising from inadequacy in a social context where success is attributed to and ex- pected of the autonomous individual. In so doing he provides both a novel and convincing descrip- tion of the illness that claries the intertwining relationship between its diagnostic history and changes in social norms and values. It is impossible to do justice to the wealth of ideas and insights contained in this book includ- ing some brilliant and illuminating aphorisms and oppositions. The Weariness of the Self makes an important contribution to the understanding of depression and illuminates the changing ways of thinking about it. American Journal of Sociology Alain Ehrenberg is research director emeritus at the National Center for Scientic Research cnrs Paris. 1 3 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 6 P S Y C H O L O G Y S O C I O L O G Y n e w i n pa p e r The Weariness of the Self Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age alain ehrenberg Foreword by Allan Young It is invaluable for those interested in understanding the nature of depression its prevalence and its complexity.Choice S P E C I F I C AT I O N S March 2016 978-0-7735-4648-6 27.95A 22.95A 15.99 paper 6 x 9 376pp Ebook available