How Sadness Survived: The Evolutionary Basis of Depression

Author: Keedwell, Paul

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  • ISBN: 9781846190131
  • Author: Keedwell, Paul
  • Publ Date: 2008-01-20
  • Edition: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 16387


Is depression a disease a medical disorder suffered by humans for millennia or is it a modern western malaise? Actually neither perspective is helpful in trying to get to grips with this uniquely disabling but intriguing state of mind. The truth is that depression is multifaceted: it can lead to great insights and achievements as well as great tragedies. This book is a critical overview of ideas about depression some new some old which fall under the discipline of 'evolutionary psychology'. Why should a condition causing so much pain and disability occur so commonly? Rather than being a defect is depression a part of what it means to be human? Do most types of depression represent an adaptation - an evolved mechanism which improved the survival and reproductive value of humans in our ancestral environment? Has depression been selected? Could it still be useful to us today? How Sadness Survived spans philosophy history anthropology psychology psychiatry sociology and ethology. Its positive controversial and intriguing assertion is that depression may confer long-term benefits to the sufferer. Its conclusions have important implications for how we should prevent or treat an increasingly common condition and how we might view the condition in a more constructive way. For more information about the author please visit: To see a copy of the press release please click here


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