The Noonday Demon

The Noonday Demon

An Atlas of Depression

Book - 2001
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With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Andrew Solomon takes the reader 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.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, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness.The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the reader's view of the world.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2001.
ISBN: 9780684854663
Branch Call Number: 616.8527 S689
Characteristics: 571 p.


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Aug 12, 2017

Very well researched and informational. A good part though was much too self-indulgent.

The last chapters, Hope and Since, were aggravating: gay white men (re: Dan Savage, Solomon, etc.) telling people "it gets better,' creating a campaign and ignoring that it only gets better for some people, a lot of them white men.

PS When he went over racial and cultural factors, he ironically wrote 2 sentences (out of a 44 page chapter on Populations) for Asians: "Many East Asians, for example, avoid the subject to the point of abject denial. In this spirit, a recent feature on depression in a Singapore magazine described the full range of medications, then ended by saying definitively 'Seek professional help if you need it, but in the meantime, cheer up.' For all his depression championing, and raising awareness of how it affects so much of the world's population, it feels terribly insulting to so blatantly ignore a group that accounts for 20%+ of humanity.

Jan 29, 2016

well written almost scary in the details provided. Personally touching.

Aug 18, 2015

An overly long book: about eighty percent of it is the authors own waffling on about himself.
He has the weird ability to talk about buggering a total stranger in a public park with the hope of getting AIDS, but is able to spin it, like a fifteen year old perfidious girl, into something that we should feel sympathy towards him.
Some of what he says is so preposterous as to make one laugh out loud (eg., "I knew I wanted to be a novelist when I was three years old.")
The tone of the book is grating, for it reads like a 440 page article from a major newspaper.

Feb 17, 2015

This book should be REQUIRED READING for ALL HUMANITY!...Teachers,Scolars and Learning enthusiasts should READ and COMPREHEND the intended message of his detailed work on the subject of 'MENTAL ILLNESS"...No better book on this dark and mysterious subject CAN BE FOUND!..DON'T WAIT for the Libraries..order a copy from a book dealer near you TODAY!!!SIX wait SEVEN STARS!!!!

Nov 11, 2014

Written straight from the eye of the storm. He explains it so explicitly.


It is an amazing book, a must for everybody to read, as we are all prone to feel melancholic that may lead to a depression. Just a very educational book.

Dec 02, 2010

Another National Book Award winner. A very personal and informative book about Depression.

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist of the 2002 Pulitzer prize for non-fiction.


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cmnymail Jun 03, 2015

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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