This reading group guide for Manufacturing Depression includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Gary Greenberg. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.INTRODUCTION
is psychotherapist Gary Greenberg’s look at how we came to have the common belief that depression is a biochemical illness. It starts with the revolution in medicine set off when doctors first discovered that drugs could target the molecular causes of disease, continues through the accidental, drug-fueled discoveries that led scientists to surmise that serotonin imbalances caused depression, and culminates with pharmaceutical companies' shrewd and wildly successful efforts to spin these discoveries into a theory that unhappiness is a disease for which they have the cure.
The author details the way that doctors and drug companies advanced their chemical imbalance theory despite a lack of evidence, and how even now, when most scientists agree that depression is not a simple biochemical glitch, they continue to tell their patients that it is, and urge them to take antidepressants for the same reason that diabetics take insulin. He also traces the idea that deep unhappiness i