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Download The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic, by Jonathan Rottenberg Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Rottenberg Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nearly every depressed person is assured by doctors, well-meaning friends and family, the media, and ubiquitous advertisements that the underlying problem is a chemical imbalance. Such a simple defect should be fixable, yet despite all of the resources that have been devoted to finding a pharmacological solution, depression remains stubbornly widespread. Why are we losing this fight?

In this humane and illuminating challenge to defect models of depression, psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg argues that depression is a particularly severe outgrowth of our natural capacity for emotion. In other words, it is a low mood gone haywire. Drawing on recent developments in the science of mood—and his own harrowing depressive experience as a young adult—Rottenberg explains depression in evolutionary terms, showing how its dark pull arises from adaptations that evolved to help our ancestors ensure their survival. Moods, high and low, evolved to compel us to more efficiently pursue rewards. While this worked for our ancestors, our modern environment—in which daily survival is no longer a sole focus—makes it all too easy for low mood to slide into severe, long-lasting depression.

Weaving together experimental and epidemiological research, clinical observations, and the voices of individuals who have struggled with depression, The Depths offers a bold new account of why depression endures—and makes a strong case for destigmatizing this increasingly common condition. In so doing, Rottenberg offers hope in the form of his own and other patients’ recovery, and points the way towards new paths for treatment.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic has the potential to revolutionize the way scientists study depression and therapists treat depression. It can provide hope for people with depression and understanding for their families.”

    Psychology Today

  • “Rottenberg’s practical style and talent for using real-world examples by real-world people to illustrate states of low and high mood is refreshing…The book is a wonderful first step for those who wish to better understand the illness from a scientific viewpoint. And it gives the reader hope by suggesting that depression is a common, albeit painful, human experience: that a low mood does not mean we have failed.”


  • “A stimulating book.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In this provocative presentation of the natural history and evolution of depression, the bottom line is, strangely, both deflating and hopeful: ‘low mood is both inescapable and sometimes useful.’”


  • “An important contribution to [Rottenberg’s] stated aim of promoting ‘an adult national conversation about depression.’”

    Kirkus Reviews

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