The Case Against Depression

Listen / Download

Over a decade ago, Peter Kramer changed the way we think about depression in his best-selling book, “Listening to Prozac.”

He says that whenever he spoke publicly about the book there was always someone in the audience who would ask, “What if Van Gogh took Prozac?” — suggesting that depression helped fuel his creativity and insight. And often, Kramer says that when he talks to his patients about relieving depression they worry that it will change their personality.

In his new book, “Against Depression,” Kramer tries to put those sentiments to rest. Kramer believes society romanticizes depression — in ways that perpetuate the suffering. Depression is a disease, he says, just like cancer, malaria, or asthma and it should be treated that way.


Peter D. Kramer, author of “Against Depression,” “Listening to Prozac” and “Should You Leave?,” clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University and host of the public radio mental health program “The Infinte Mind.”