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 parts of melancholy and manic-depression... His presentation is illuminating, and the case histories show his sensitivity and talent as a clinician.... Whybrow's presentation deals a deeper knowing of, in addition to a humane and clever method of those very troubling illnesses."
-- Kirkus stories
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Extra resources for A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders
T he restoring comfort of sleep may disappear, or sleep may be broken in the early morning hours by a tortured wakefulness, the prelude to another exhausting A Glimpse of Melancholy 15 day. Attachments to family and friends become meaningless; one no longer eats with appetite, if one eats at all; sex is a forgotten pleasure. Memory and decision-making become impaired. A preoccupation with minutiae and past failure steals away normal concentration, driving out any sense o f joy. The skills to adapt to changing circumstance are lost.
She had learned the value o f conserving herself through emotional withdrawal. This was not her preference, but a rescue strategy from an early age. Impulsively, she had attempted to break out of this loneliness in both o f her mar riages. And while in the bond with Elliot Parker she had found mater ial stability, there was little emotional commitment. Elliot, too, through his natural temperament, reinforced this distance between them. During the early winter months, as Claire Dubois slipped deeper into the pit o f melancholy, she withdrew to the world of books and her favorite authors.
She looked at me for the first time. “The last part’s not original; it’s from Virginia Woolf, from her book The Waves, I think. 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.
A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders by Peter C. Whybrow