This is a fascinating look by a very erudite man into his own depression. We all know someone who suffers from this horrific disease. Be forewarned, however. Everyone's experience is different and someone who is depressed and reads this may be misled by Styron's own self-diagnosis and conclusions as to what led to his depression and how to "fix" it. However, it is helpful for someone who loves a depressed person to read this. Very insightful.
I read this very quickly (in about an hour or so). It is an honest look at one person's struggle with depression. I think the author does a great job and telling his story, but also in letting the reader know that his struggles are his own and that others may have different symptoms and that not all treatments work for everyone. I found it particularly telling in that prior to his mental illness, Styron admitted he couldn't understand someone taking their own life (which I think many people who haven't suffered from depression also feel) but while in his depression nearly did so. To me that speaks volumes to the seriousness of mental illness and the reason why 25 years after this book was written we still need to keep talking about it.
Styron's masterpiece about his descent into clinical depression. This short memoir is beautifully written despite the dark subject matter. Gives hope to those who suffer with clinical depression or other socially isolating mental illnesses. Highly recommended.
one of the best books on depression by someone who lived it and his take on the doctors and too much medication
A very astute look into depression. I am amazed that the author was able to write so vividly aobut his depression. Obviously written once he had resumed some semblence of mental health.
This is THE book to read for anyone who wants to understand depression. Strangely enough, it is comforting for those experiencing severe depression.
As Dan Hill recently wrote:
"Rather than psychiatrist's, writers - for example, William Styron in his gripping and jagged Darkness Visible-A Memoir of Madness-consistently come closer to deconstructing depression"
- Dan Hill, Me and My Shrinks, article in Maclean's, Oct 18, 2010, Vol 123, No 10
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