Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder

Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder

by David Healy


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Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder by David Healy

That conceptual entity — and thus lived reality — we call bipolar disease today is peculiarly a product of our world. It is a world in which reductionist notions of disease have come to dominate our way of thinking about sickness. It is a world of bureaucratic categories and psychopharmaceutical practice. It is a world created in part by the laboratory's accomplishments, but it is also a social world shaped in part by mass media and advertising, by corporate strategies and government policies. And, as is illustrated by highly visible contemporary debates over the problematic increase of bipolar diagnoses in children, it is shaped as well by the public contestation of such clinical judgments — decisions that are in theory individual, private, and objective.

It is in this multidimensional sense that the subject of David Healy's biography exists outside the bodies and emotions of any particular man, woman, or child. But these aggregated social, cultural, and institutional realities can and do intrude into very real bodies and minds. Healy never lets us forget the men, women, and children who feel emotional pain and incapacity no matter how much such disquieting experience is modified by drugs and ideology, by business plans and bureaucratic rationalities, by professional strategies and rewards. His subject is both timeless and timely, situated in social and cultural space, yet anchored implacably in the idiosyncratic circumstantiality of particular lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801888229
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 05/28/2008
Series: Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

David Healy is a professor of psychiatry and the director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine at Cardiff University. He is the author of several books on the history of psychopharmaceuticals, including Let Them Eat Prozac, The Antidepressant Era, and The Creation of Psychopharmacology.

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