The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression by Darian Leader - review by Lewis Wolpert

Lewis Wolpert

Coping With Loss

The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression


Hamish Hamilton 240pp £17.99

Most people have to experience the loss of a loved one: a parent, partner, or even a child. The grief that results includes the extreme sadness that such a loss can trigger, but there can also be painful and intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, and an inability to function properly. None of these processes is fully understood, but psychoanalysis has had a big influence on how both psychologists and the public think about bereavement.

Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst, and the psychoanalytic approach remains at the core of his book. There are no references to other approaches, or to the numerous studies that have been carried out on the nature of grief; all the so-called evidence he provides is essentially anecdotal, as it is

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