Depression Defined By Writer, Andrew Solomon

There is a compilation of essays entitled,  “A Selection of Stories from The New Yorker’s archive, it’s subtitled, On The Couch.”

The title is a subtle nod to when psychotherapy was synonymous with psychoanalysis. In that type of therapy made most famous by Sigmund Freud,  patients laid down on a couch, while the therapist sat behind them and took notes.

Although that is not the kind of psychotherapy that I practice, I was aware that the articles would probably be a compilation of many different kinds of stories about therapy and I was excited to read them. So, I skimmed the list and found one that struck me right away. It was written by Andrew Solomon in 1998 and called, Anatomy of Melancholy.

Solomon writes: “When you are depressed, the past and the future are absorbed entirely by the present, as in the world of a three-year-old. You can neither remember feeling better nor imagine that you will feel better. Being upset, even profoundly upset, is a temporal experience, whereas depression is atemporal. Depression means that you have no point of view.”

Solomon is a poetic writer and a mesmerizing speaker. He has given three wonderful TED talks. Here is one:



If you are struggling with depression, I want to help you. Feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.