Peter C. Whybrow's A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its PDF

By Peter C. Whybrow

"A compassionate exploration of melancholy and manic-depression."
-- Forecast
"The so much thorough and wide-ranging dialogue for lay readers concerning the interaction of the actual and emotional components of melancholy and manic-depression... His presentation is illuminating, and the case histories reveal his sensitivity and ability as a clinician.... Whybrow's presentation bargains a deeper figuring out of, in addition to a humane and clever method of those very troubling illnesses."
-- Kirkus stories

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Additional info for A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders

Sample text

But it does sum up the way I am. ” In her severe depression, Claire was describing what psychiatrists call anhedonia— from hedone, the Greek word for pleasure. Anhedonia means in literal translation “the absence of pleasure,” but in fact in its most severe form anhedonia becomes an absence o f feeling, a profound blunting o f emotion such that life itself loses meaning. ” But this lack of feeling, especially o f pleasure, is most frequently present in melancho­ lia. Melancholia lies on a continuum with depression, extending the ill­ ness to its most disabling and frightening form.

Per­ sonal interpretation is required, and that is where memory comes in. In 1924, in France, Professor Gregorio Maraiion reported an inter­ esting observation that was to help clarify this relationship between memory and feeling, and how they are tied together in the develop­ ment o f emotion. He was interested in the effects on behavior o f a newly discovered hormone called epinephrine, which we know now is one of the brain’s important chemical messengers. It is produced in large quantities in the body when we are frightened, and this is what interested Professor Maraiion.

Claire rapidly had two more daughters. Claire had initially valued the marriage. Her husband came from a Scots-English background, and Claire felt that his lack o f demonstra­ tive interest in her was probably a cultural thing, reinforced by his many years alone. His work kept him busy and frequently out o f the country, but she made a life for herself with her growing daughters. Darkness Visible 29 The sadness o f her earlier years did not return, although at times she drank rather heavily, much to the consternation o f her husband, who felt that her behavior when drunk was socially inappropriate.

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