The Noonday Demon
An Atlas of DepressionBook - 2015 | Scribner paperback edition.
The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers, and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease as well as the reasons for hope. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications and treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations--around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit and erudition, award-winning author Solomon takes readers on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.
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Four classes of antidepressant medication are currently available. The most popular are the SSRIs, which bring about higher brain levels of serotonin. Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa are all SSRIs. There are also two older kinds of antidepressants. The tricyclics, named for their chemical structure, affect serotonin and dopamine. Elavil, Anafranil, Norpramin, Tofranil, and Pamelor are all tricyclics. The monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) inhibit the breakdown of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Nardil and Parnate are both MAOIs. Another category, atypical antidepressants, includes drugs that
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