Really the Blues

Melancholia and Depression: From Hippocratic Times to Modern Times

by Stanley W. Jackson
“Moody, muddy, Moorditch melancholy” If Shakespeare was correct, the web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill. Like physical pain, sadness is something that enters the experience of each one of us at some time or other. Small wonder that mental distress should have attracted the …

Unkind Cuts

Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness

by Elliot S. Valenstein
This is the book which for some length of time I have been awaiting. Not without trepidation, having lived through those lamentable years that made up what the author calls “the rise and decline of psychosurgery.” Professor Valenstein deals particularly with the mutilating brain operation known as a leucotomy—or, in …