By Lewis Wolpert
Numerous years in the past, Lewis Wolpert had a critical depressive episode. regardless of a contented marriage and profitable medical profession, he might imagine purely of suicide. whilst ultimately he did get better, he grew to become conscious of the stigma connected to melancholy - and simply how tough it was once to get trustworthy info. With attribute candour and resolution he set approximately penning this e-book, an acclaimed research into the factors and coverings of this devastating affliction, which shaped the foundation for a BBC television sequence. This paperback variation contains a new creation, during which Lewis Wolpert discusses the response to his booklet and tv sequence, and recounts his personal routine fight with melancholy.
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Extra info for Malignant Sadness
There were several treatises that could well have had an influence on Shakespeare. A Discourse … of Melancholicke Disease by du Laurens was typical and described the sadness of the melancholic and the fitfulness of their sleep; sadness without cause was a common description. In Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, humoral theory remained central. His description included many physical disorders such as headache, bellyache and palpitations, and there is little reference to guilt. While he recognised grief associated with bereavement as a possible cause of melancholy he complained of the confusions and contradictions in deciding just what melancholy is.
I therefore decided to make my depression public and wrote an article about it in the Guardian newspaper. This brought an astonishingly positive response. Patients, doctors and those who had had the experience of living with someone who is depressed found it helpful to have the subject discussed in so open a manner. Of everything I have written, both books and scientific articles, this article was most widely read and appreciated. When people complimented me on being so brave, I realised exactly how much stigma is still associated with depression.
The delusion could be that the patient is responsible for some far distant disaster. It is apparently quite common for patients with a depressive disorder to feel that they are losing their minds. They ask for help, bemoaning their fate, but nothing satisfies them. While the general impression of depressed patients is that they are withdrawn and passive, this may be misleading, as anger, hostility and irritability are also frequently observed. In one study it was found that about one third of a group of depressed outpatients had sudden spells of anger accompanied by rapid heartbeats, sweating and hot flushes.