Speaking of Sadness : Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness
Speaking of Sadness explores depression as a human experience, not just as a disease. Each of the pieces of the depression puzzle is examined, including interactions with family and friends, experiences with anti-depressant drugs, and the interplay of biology, family and society in depression's definition and treatment. The book includes extensive interviews with depressed individuals and the author's own experiences with depression.
- Hardback | 256 pages
- 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 582.25g
- 04 Jan 1996
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Back cover copy
Combining a scholar's care and thoroughness with searing personal insight, Karp brings the private experience of depression into sharp relief, drawing on a remarkable series of intimate interviews with fifty depressed men and women. By turns poignant, disturbing, mordantly funny, and wise, Karp's interviews cause us to marvel at the courage of depressed people in dealing with extraordinary and debilitating pain. We hear what depression feels like, what it means to receive an "official" clinical diagnosis, and what depressed persons think of the battalion of mental health experts - doctors, nurses, social workers, sociologists, psychologists, and therapists - employed to help them. We learn the personal significance that patients attach to beginning a prescribed daily drug regimen, and their ongoing struggle to make sense of biochemical explanations and metaphors of depression as a disease. Ranging in age from their early twenties to their mid-sixties, the people Karp profiles reflect on their working lives and career aspirations, and confide strategies for overcoming paralyzing episodes of hopelessness. They reveal how depression affects their intimate relationships, and, in a separate chapter, spouses, children, parents, and friends provide their own often overlooked point of view. Throughout, Karp probes the myriad ways society contributes to widespread alienation and emotional exhaustion.
Table of contents
1. Living With Depressions ; 2. The Dialects of Depression ; 3. Illness and Identity ; 4. The Meanings of Medication ; 5. Coping and Adapting ; 6. Family and Friends ; 7. Sickness, Self, and Society ; 8. Sociology, Spirituality, and Suffering ; Appendix: Thinking About Sampling
About David A. Karp
David A. Karp is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. His earlier books on cities, everyday life, and aging reflect his enduring interest in how people invest their daily worlds with meaning.