The Noonday Demon
An Atlas of DepressioneBook
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.
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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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