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The depths : the evolutionary origins of the depression epidemic / Jonathan Rottenberg.

  • Rottenberg, Jonathan
  • Books

About this work


A sweeping new theory about depression argues that effective treatments have been limited by a misperception that the disorder occurs because of psychological or chemical defects, posing the theory that depression is actually caused by severe, evolutionary-based expressions of natural emotions that can be better addressed through alternate treatments.

"Why are we losing the fight against depression? In this groundbreaking work, psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg explains that despite advances in pharmaceutical science, progress has been hampered by our fundamental misunderstanding of depression as a psychological or chemical defect. Instead, Rottenberg introduces a surprising alternative: that depression is a particularly severe outgrowth of our natural capacity for emotion; it is a low mood gone haywire. Drawing on recent developments in the science of mood-and his own harrowing depressive experience as a young adult-Rottenberg explains depression in evolutionary terms, showing how its dark pull arises from adaptations that evolved to help our ancestors ensure their survival. Weaving together experimental and epidemiological research, clinical observations, and the voices of people who have struggled with depression, The Depths offers a bold new account of why depression endures-and points the way toward new paths for treatment"--


New York : Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, [2014]

Physical description

x, 256 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Why we need a new approach to depression -- Where the depths begin -- What other species tell us about depression -- The bell tolls: death as a universal trigger -- The seedbed of low mood -- The slide -- The black hole: the psychobiology of deep depression -- An up and down thing: improvement in depression -- In limbo -- The glory of recovery.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    Medical Collection
    WM171.5 2014R85d
    Open shelves

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