A Mood Apart

Depression, Mania, and Other Afflictions of the Self


By Peter C. Whybrow

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 12, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

When first published in 1997 this groundbreaking work on the science of mood both redefined the field and—with compassion, understanding, and scientific rigor—made it accessible to those who would most benefit from the latest findings. Now, Peter Whybrow, one of the world's most distinguished psychiatrists, has updated his definitive account of mood disorders. In A Mood Apart he argues that disorders such as depression constitute afflictions of the self, exploring the human experience of manic depressive illness, and rediscovering the human being behind the diagnosis. Drawing on cutting-edge research and his experience as a clinician, he shows how the science and culture surrounding mood disorders have changed since the first edition. Nearly two decades since its original publication, A Mood Apart remains an essential book for anyone who has been affected by depression.


  • Publishers Weekly
    “Seldom has the inner emotional landscape of melancholic depression, mania and manic- depressive illness been mapped with so much clarity, empathy and sensitivity.”

    William Styron, author of Darkness Visible
    A Mood Apart is informative, compassionate and, not the least, thoroughly engrossing.”

    Maggie Scarf, author of Unfinished Business and Intimate Worlds
    “Dr. Peter Whybrow explains everything you ever wanted to know about moods and their vicissitudes, and he does so in wonderfully elegant, highly readable prose.”

    Irvin D. Yalom, author of Love's Executioner and Lying on the Couch
    “Dr. Whybrow has written a wise and graceful book that should be helpful and consoling to patients and their loved ones.”

    Aaron T. Beck, MD, university professor emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Cognitive Therapy of Depression
    A Mood Apart is a beautifully crafted volume that probes into the recesses of the brain and mind to reveal the secrets of depression. Dr. Whybrow distills a lifetime of experience as a master clinician and scientist. . . . I highly recommend this definitive work to the nonprofessional as well as the professional.”
  • Contemporary Psychology
    “A terrific book for professionals and the public. . . . A Mood Apart represents a literary achievement as well as a scientific accomplishment. It is not a self- help manual with simple lists and prescriptions, nor a compendium without conclusion of every scientific study. Rather, it is a seamless product resulting from a career of research and clinical practice expressed in lucid, moving style, but not at the expense of integrative complexity.”

    British Journal of Psychiatry
    “This is a masterly and highly readable discourse. . . . Whybrow has really attempted to enter into the soul of manic depression and has succeeded to a remarkable extent.”

    Literary Review
    “Dr. Whybrow has succeeded in presenting a balanced, well-written account of mood disorders and their treatment which will inform the general reader and which also contains much of interest to the professional.”

    “The most thorough and wide- ranging discussion for lay readers about the interplay of the physical and emotional elements of depression and manic-depression. . . . His presentation is illuminating, and the case histories demonstrate his sensitivity and skill as a clinician. . . . Whybrow's presentation offers a deeper understanding of, along with a humane and wise approach to these very troubling illnesses.”

On Sale
May 12, 2015
Page Count
408 pages
Basic Books

Peter C. Whybrow

About the Author

Peter C. Whybrow, M.D. is Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California in Los Angeles. He is also the Judson Braun Distinguished Professor and Executive Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine and CEO of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA.

A founding member and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Psychiatrists, and the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Whybrow has lectured widely across the United States and Europe, and is the recipient of many awards. A frequent advisor to universities, foundations, and government agencies and the author of numerous scientific papers and six books, Whybrow lives in Los Angeles, California.

Learn more about this author