An eye-opening look at how a singular theory of depression has pervaded and persuaded the medical world.

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Depression Delusion Volume One

THE MYTH OF THE BRAIN CHEMICAL IMBALANCE

In this first of three planned volumes, an Irish doctor and psychotherapist discusses the lack of scientific evidence for a long-held, widespread theory of depression.

Lynch (Beyond Prozac, 2001, etc.) provides hundreds of quotes from multiple sources—from the American Psychiatric Association, highly respected physicians, drug companies, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Mayo Clinic, just to name a few—that promote the idea that decreased levels of serotonin in the brain is the biological cause of depression. Lynch clearly and painstakingly analyzes and breaks down their arguments, refuting the claims based on his conviction that “There is no reliable scientific evidence…that brain chemical imbalances are known to be a feature of depression” and that “we do not know what serotonin levels should or should not be.” He includes several admirable, fervent missives to various editors at publishing companies whose medical textbooks include the theory of chemical imbalances, as well as to medical journals that espouse the same claims. Lynch’s basic complaint is that the authorities that the public deems trustworthy—such as government organizations, physicians, and scientists—have wittingly or unwittingly bamboozled them about the causes and appropriate treatments for depression. Consequently, he says, “The development of a comprehensive holistic understanding of depression has been thwarted.” The author also discusses how pharmaceutical companies, psychiatrists, and general practitioners have profited from the chemical imbalance theory and asserts that the psychological phenomenon of “Groupthink” has enabled the theory to become intractable. The author’s prodigious citations create a solid case for his beliefs. However, they eventually become a little too overwhelming, as his refutations of the chemical-imbalance concept grow wearingly repetitive. Still, this shouldn’t dissuade readers from delving into this scrupulous study of a topic that holds profound consequences for so many people.

An eye-opening look at how a singular theory of depression has pervaded and persuaded the medical world.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1908561015

Page Count: -

Publisher: Mental Health Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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