Book Review: Depression: A Very Short Introduction

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This pocket-sized book is one of a large series of ‘very short introductions’ published by OUP. The authors are clinical and academic psychiatrists, with extensive specialist knowledge

The authors have produced a well-written, concise and even-handed exploration of the key aspects of this topic. In seven chapters, they comprehensively explore the history and meaning of this ‘deceptively simple term’. They consider issues of cause and risk, and treatment and management, with the closing chapters focusing on future trends in research and understanding, and the broader societal impact of depression.

The section on the history of depression is particularly lucid, providing a review of changing views and approaches that has remarkable breadth and detail for such a short summary.

The authors’ familiarity with their topic is abundantly clear. Their cognisance of the wider historical and social context, and ability


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