By Peter C. Whybrow
"A compassionate exploration of melancholy and manic-depression."
"The such a lot thorough and wide-ranging dialogue for lay readers in regards to the interaction of the actual and emotional components of melancholy and manic-depression... His presentation is illuminating, and the case histories display his sensitivity and ability as a clinician.... Whybrow's presentation deals a deeper knowing of, besides a humane and clever method of those very troubling illnesses."
-- Kirkus experiences
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Additional info for A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders
These few blocks o f the city became her personal world. Everybody, be they bookseller, street vendor, concierge, or gendarme, knew the blue-eyed Claire Dubois; the people o f the neighborhood became her extended family. However, with the increasing threat o f war in Europe, this life that 28 A Mood Apart Claire had created so carefully collapsed. Just before the outbreak of hostilities she was loaded onto a boat bound for Canada, to live with a stepsister in Montreal— a woman some twenty years older than her self— while she attended McGill University.
And as the ability to live recedes, the most terrifying part of all is that it leaves a certain serenity. ” For most o f us, as social animals, a meaningful existence is based on our interaction with other people, with ideas, and with the physical world in which together we live and work. For Claire Dubois in her 24 A Mood Apart melancholic state, this normal interaction had been lost. ” Claire had become preoccu pied with this shutdown o f feeling. Closer questioning, however, re vealed that she had also been experiencing changes, so characteristic o f melancholia, in the body’s housekeeping rhythms— disturbances o f her appetite, sleep, and energy.
Emotion drains away to be replaced by a vis ceral void. Claire Dubois was such a victim. Indeed, her experience was so de bilitating that she had come to question the worth of life itself. Claire’s first visit to my office was in the dead of winter— during that week between Christmas and the N ew Year, which is such a bad time for depressed people— in the middle o f a particularly bleak and snowy period. It was the 1970s, when I was Professor o f Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. Elliot Parker, Claire’s husband, had tele phoned the hospital desperately worried about his wife, who he sus pected had tried to kill herself with an overdose of sleeping pills.
A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders by Peter C. Whybrow