Melancholia and Depression
  • Sep 10, 1990
    442 p., 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

    ISBN: 9780300046144
  • Paper: $35.00 tx

Melancholia and Depression

From Hippocratic Times to Modern Times

  • Stanley W. Jackson, M.D.


"[A] fascinating journey through two and a half millennia of medical writings on the most human of the medical conditions. . . . Melancholia and Depression is a captivating intellectual adventure."—Renato D. Alarcon, American Journal of Psychiatry

"It was time that someone wrote this book. . . . An eminently scholarly work, easy to read and rich with interesting quotations and anecdotes. It is hard to put down. . . . I find myself going back to it again and again for its clinical interest and even more for the lively insight it gives into the way people actually lived and felt over the 2? millenia the author covers in this guided historical tour. It will interest practitioners for its accounts of diagnosis and treatment; it will interest lay persons for its unique view of the growth of Western civilization. But its particular value is in its exposition of the reality of the basic human experience we now call depression, but known over the centuries as melancholia. . . . It is an outstanding contribution. I cherish my copy."—Stanley W. Jackson, International Review of Psycho-Analysis

"This encyclopedic study will become the standard in the field. A rich, careful, clear, and thorough book."—Eric T. Carlson, M.D.

"A major contribution to fields which deal with clinical, theoretical, or social and literary aspects of mental illness. Psychiatric and psychotherapeutic clinicians, historians, historians of medicine, students of literature, and those interested in law and psychiatry will find this book extremely valuable."—Bennett Simon, M.D., Harvard Medical School and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute 


"This book traces the history of the concept of melancholia from the time of Hippocrates to the present. Thoroughly researched and intellectually sound, it should become the reference point for future works on melancholia and related disorders."—Jerome Kroll, M.D., University of Minnesota Medical School

"[A] lucid and learned inquiry."—Roy Porter, New Society 


"We must thank Dr. Jackson for his careful review of depression's long history, which puts to rest the notion that it is somehow a new phenomenon resulting principally from urban stress. And we must thank him for reminding us that depression is a serious, often devastating, clinical syndrome."—Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, New York Times Book Review

"Excellent contribution. . . . He covers the subject in depth and breadth. . . . It is a pleasure as well as a superb learning experience to read a work that is well written, detailed but not overly so, and well annotated, with an excellent bibliography and index. Jackson's treatise will be a classic in the field."—George H. Pollock, M.D., Journal of the American Medical Association

"Rich, dense, and comprehensive—a treasure for those who wish to understand depression."—Paul Erickson, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine

"An enormously intriguing and impeccably researched history of depression and melancholia."—Marc A. Frader, M.D., Hospital and Community Psychiatry

"Stanley Jackson's meticulously researched Melancholia and Depression catalogues the slow passage of medical opinion from the black bile theory of the ancients through the humoral pathology of the medieval doctors and the mechanical and chemical explanations of the Enlightenment to the modern fields of neurology and neuro-psychiatry."—Michael Ignatieff, Times Literary Supplement


"Jackson carefully guides us through the wilderness of medical thinking since classical times. . . . The book is beautifully written, in the rare prose of a gentleman who is also a scholar."—Macdonald Critchley, New York Review of Books

"Jackson has put together a scholarly, encyclopedic yet readable history of the disease. . . . A comprehensive and thoughtful contribution to the field."—Susan Pollak, Psychology Today

"Jackson presents his material in a clear and simple style, frequently using apt quotations from the works discussed."—Jacques M. Quen, Isis

"A scholarly, detailed, and sage presentation of an important subject."—L.D. Hankoff, M.D., Psychiatric Times

"Deserves the attention of all who are concerned with the history of the interactions between depressive illness and cultural attitudes toward this illness."—Ralph Colp, Jr., J.H.B. Bookshelf 


"Jackson has clearly shown how melancholia achieved and slowly lost its nosological potency; its epigone, depressive disorders, has not regained the hardwon status of a disease."—Michael W. Dols, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"The theme is of immense importance, not just for the history of medical practice, but also for cultural history."—Peter Toohey, Prodentia

"A thoroughly documented, detailed compendium of the thoughts on melancholia of every important medical and psychiatric author through the ages. Melancholia and Depression could easily be used as a source book on the subject."—S. Warren Seides, Psychoanalytic Quarterly

"Jackson has written what can be considered a source book on medical ideas regarding melancholia and depression. . . . A close reading reveals the sensitivity and learning of the author and brings the reader face-to-face with one of mankind's most troubling and elusive disorders."—F.G. Gosling, Journal of the History of Medicine

"It was time that someone wrote this book and put into a historical perspective the tremendous volume of work being done and reported on nowadays and in recent decades. . . . It is an outstanding contribution."—Daniel W. Badal, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis


"Scholars and theorists will welcome this encyclopedia treatise as an essential reference."—Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic