Peter D. Kramer
Who is Peter D. Kramer?
Peter D. Kramer, is an American psychiatrist, former Marshall Scholar and faculty member of Brown Medical School specializing in the area of depression. He considers depression to be a serious illness with tangible physiological effects such as disorganizing the brain and disrupting the functioning of the cardiovascular system. He criticizes society for romanticizing depression in the same way that tuberculosis was once romanticized; these romantic notions involve claims of artistic sensitivity or of genius arising from depression. In his 2005 book Against Depression, he argues that the socio-economic costs of depression are so large and the effects so pervasive that modern societies should aim to eradicate the disease in the same fashion as it did with smallpox.
Kramer's most notable book is Listening to Prozac. This work was grounded in the observation that, treated with antidepressants, some patients reported feeling "better than well." This result led Kramer to consider the feasibility of "cosmetic psychopharmacology," the use of medication in healthy people to induce personality traits that are desired or socially rewarded.
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