“Philosophy of Depression” with guest Andrew Solomon

Episode 164:

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What is going on with depression? How much of it is mind and how much is body? How should people manage the unjustified guilt that often comes with it? There is a worldwide epidemic of depression but surprisingly few philosophical investigations on its nature and meaning. On this episode, we change that. We ask the deep and nuanced questions, moving past the stigma and disrespect that burdens victims who seek help. We also explore the value of caregivers and explain why a “crazy” friend is sometimes the best friend to have. Joined by a guest who has written an astonishing memoir, analysis, and history of the illness, we push past the philosophical tradition that dismisses illness as a lack of virtue or a deviation from perfection.

Andrew Solomon is Professor of Clinical Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University Medical Center, a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Yale University, and a former President of PEN American Center. He is the author of numerous books, all of which have had receptions most authors only dream about. On this episode, we revisit his 2001 memoir, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.

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