Mending the Mind

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What to expect

‘A tour de force . . . an important, affecting and effective book’ ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

‘[A] gorgeous and urgent book’ STEVEN PINKER

‘MENDING THE MIND reminds us that, despite our hazy understanding of depression, and despite the true horror of the illness, some hope for recovery remains’ THE TIMES

Sadness is an inevitable part of life, but for most people it will usually alternate or coexist with happy times. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is a mental disorder that causes torment and anguish. It has no moments of relief. It unhinges us from everything we thought we knew about the world and makes us strangers to those we love. It is the predominant mental-health problem worldwide, affecting more than 250 million people. More than a fifth of the population of the UK report symptoms of depression or anxiety. Yet how much do we really know of the condition and of ways to treat it?

In MENDING THE MIND, Oliver Kamm recounts what it’s like to be mentally ill with severe depression, and he details the route by which, with professional help, he was able to make a full recovery. His experience prompted him to find out all he could about a condition that has afflicted humanity throughout recorded history. He explains the progress of science in understanding depression, and the insights into the condition that have been provided by writers and artists through the ages. His message is hopeful: though depression is a real and devastating illness, the mind and its disorders are yielding to scientific inquiry, and effective psychological, psychiatric and pharmacological treatments are already available. Candid, revelatory and deeply versed in current scientific research, MENDING THE MIND sets out in plain language how the scourge of clinical depression can be countered and may eventually be overcome.

Critics Review

  • Oliver Kamm’s urbanity, erudition and compassion are raised to the power of two in Mending the Mind. He put them to work in crafting this gorgeous and urgent book, and on every page they remind us of his moral that enviable gifts are no protection against the affliction of depression

    STEVEN PINKER, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of HOW THE MIND WORKS
  • With startling openness and honesty, but without angling for sympathy, Kamm describes his symptoms . . . Kamm’s overall message is that despite the utter grimness of those symptoms, sufferers should remain optimistic . . . Mending the Mind reminds us that, despite our hazy understanding of depression, and despite the true horror of the illness, some hope for recovery remains

    THE TIMES
  • A tour de force that is not just personal, but looks at depression through science, art, literature and history. The combination makes it an important, affecting and effective book

    ALASTAIR CAMPBELL
  • The combination of Kamm’s up close and personal and investigative approaches together make this both useful and insightful. It’s also extremely intelligent, compassionate and well-written

    EVENING STANDARD
  • There are lots of books on depression, but not many combine both an authentic and moving personal story with rigorous research and analysis. Kamm tackles the big questions on depression, and his answers are clear, unsentimental and compelling

    PROFESSOR SIR SIMON WESSELY, Regius Chair of Psychiatry, King's College London and Past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal Society of Medicine
  • Uplifting . . . easy-to-read. The book covers all aspects of the illness, such as what causes it, medical treatment, psychological treatment, living with it and, finally, the end of it

    THE IRISH TIMES

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