When first published in 1997 this groundbreaking work on the science of mood both redefined the field and—with compassion, understanding, and scientific rigor—made it accessible to those who would most benefit from the latest findings. Now, Peter Whybrow, one of the world's most distinguished psychiatrists, has updated his definitive account of mood disorders. In A Mood Apart he argues that disorders such as depression constitute afflictions of the self, exploring the human experience of manic depressive illness, and rediscovering the human being behind the diagnosis. Drawing on cutting-edge research and his experience as a clinician, he shows how the science and culture surrounding mood disorders have changed since the first edition. Nearly two decades since its original publication, A Mood Apart remains an essential book for anyone who has been affected by depression.
Seldom has the inner emotional landscape of melancholic depression, mania and manic-depressive illness been mapped with so much clarity, empathy and sensitivity. Chairman of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, Whybrow draws on his experiences in treating mood disorders. He recommends a combination of psychotherapy, self-education and pharmacologic drugs to improve the emotional brain's self-regulating functions. According to his theory, grief, severe stress, genetic predisposition, distorted childhood attachments and weak social support networks may interact to disrupt the brain's system of "emotional homeostasis," which promotes the individual's equilibrium within his or her ever-changing circumstances; the result is a debilitating mood disorder. Whybrow weaves observations on shyness, temperament, suicide, the melatonin fad, brain research and seasonal effects on mood into a series of open-ended, exploratory case histories that comprise the book's core. Including an appendix listing common medications with dose ranges and side effects, his illuminating study will be useful to those who suffer from mood disorders and people close to them.