Melancholic Mysteries

Our skeptical doctor reviews a new book on the subject of depression in his latest Law & Liberty essay.

The author does not (in my opinion) sufficiently consider the cultural significance of the replacement of the word unhappiness by depression in common parlance. The practical effect is considerable. An unhappy person must either put up with his unhappiness, or analyse the reasons for it and try to change either himself or his circumstances. The depressed person is declaring himself ill and placing the responsibility on someone else to cure him.

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