A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Styron suffered from a gruesome acute episode of depression, but
Depression has its own individual flavors depending on who you are, but the worst of it is the sluggish mind and the total incapacitation. It's life-threatening (and, trust me, you know it and that's really scary until it isn't). It's prevalent at the holidays which generate expectations that are very hard to fulfill leaving many stranded on its shores.
Darkness Visible isn't a cheerful book, but it's a brave one. Beautifully written it will give you insight into a landscape I hope none of you ever see.
Styron was the author of Sophie’s Choice and the Pulitzer Prize winning The Confessions of Nat Turner. He died in 2006 at the age of 81 from pneumonia.
The book is about Styron's plummet into the world of depression and ultimately on to the brink of suicide. Whilst I haven't read any of this author's work (and in fact I might take a look at them now) I did find his account of his depression touching and insightful. I got the feeling he maybe only published this story because others thought it was a good idea, rather than making the decision himself - I may be wrong, but that was my impression from the introduction.
Styron was hit by
It's the honesty of the book that makes it so compelling. It was one of the first "insider" accounts of depression, and captures extremely well just what it feels like. (You have to have been there to know.) I agree with him that the word "depression" is totally inadequate, sounding more like a mild case of the blues rather than something that fills your soul with dread and despair.
Even if one has little or no experience with chronic melancholia, this is a very illuminating and enjoyable read.
In October of 1985, Styron is in Paris to accept an award, when he realizes he is plunging into a deep, dark depression. He ends up
With the use of actual suicides, from Randall Jarrett, the poet, to Abbie Hoffman, he examines the causes and the effect it has on the mind. The despair that grows deeper with each hour, until it seems there is no end to it.
Styron stopped drinking, and blamed his rapid descent into the deep dark hole of depression on this fact.
As one who has suffered and battled with depression, I fully understood his despair, and the thoughts that tormented him. I applauded his recovery, and was cheered by the thought that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it's not the oncoming train).
I received this from Net Galley for review. Thank you!
"For in virtually any other serious
Starting at the beginning his troubles started when he develops nausea of alcohol (he being a long term alcohol consumer). His describes his gradual slide into the depths of melancholy. On the verge of suicide he decides to seek professional help and gets hospitalized where he stays for seven weeks and gets better.
He describes the disease as a "brainstorm" with loss of his normal circadian cycle, constant anxiety and a gloom set on all things around him.
This is a very short book and thankfully so. You won't want to read 500 pages of lamenting, would you?!
I was saddened that Styron fell for the falsehoods of "chemical imbalances", a lie concocted at the desks of the marketing department, not in the pharmaceutical lab; and that the DSM has any legitimacy given its own editors admit that it has no scientific underpinning and is actually useless as a diagnostic tool. I hope anybody reading these sections won't take them at face value