Quotes by Peter Kramer

Get quotes of the day

How do you feel today?    I feel ...

Peter D. Kramer, M.D., 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.

Kramer's most notable book is Listening to Prozac (1993). 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. In the book, Kramer considers the consequences for medical ethics and critiques the tendency of the culture to reward particular personality styles, namely those characterized by energy and assertiveness. The book is commonly but mistakenly believed to argue for the use of the medication.

From 2005 through 2006, Kramer served as principal host of the public radio program The Infinite Mind. He reviews books frequently (Slate, Washington Post, New York Times Book Review) and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Add to my favourites Get these quotes on a PDF
To be neat in a culture that prizes neatness may bespeak a very different, less aberrant biological state than the same behavior in a culture that has adopted different values. Whether a particular behavioral style like perfectionism is deviant is very much a matter of cultural expections.

Some characteristics of compulsiveness are…virtues. Sociologists have speculated that compulsiveness in the human species survived because it was a competitive advantage our ancestors' tribes to contain one or two members who were responsible and vigilant in the extreme.

Get Quotes of the Day

Your daily dose of thought, inspiration and motivation.