Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

Schaler, J.A. (1998). The meaning of depression [letters].
The New Yorker, Feb. 9.

See also California Special Education Observer []

[Response to "Anatomy of Melancholy" by Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, January 12, 1998]

The Meaning of Depression

The thing that impresses me as tragic in Andrew Solomon's article about his struggle with depression is our society's increasing tendency to medicalize bad experience. As a psychologist, I often wonder why good experience is never considered a part of a disease continuum. It seems that we don't want to diminish our responsibility for the behaviors that make us happy, but we do want to blame neuro-transmitters for the lack of meaning in our lives. If people want to use Prozac, they should be free to do so, but it "works" to relieve depression only in the sense that it makes people feel less.

Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.
Erdenheim, PA