I read this book many years ago after a suicide attempt and two back-to-back hospitalizations for a seriously debilitating depression which I suffered with for years. Reading it was, at least for me, like walking hand in hand with a kindred soul who, unlike myself, was able to accurately describe the deep dark abyss of major depression. It was comforting like a warm blanket on a cold night. I highly recommend this book for anyone suffering from depression...but I espcially recommend it for anyone who has a loved one they suspect may be seriously depressed. Although there have been great strides in the treatment of depression since I went through it, depression is depression is depression and the person suffering from it is living in a hell all their own. Although dated, I firmly believe this book can provide understanding and can give hope to those who feel hopeless. Thank you Mr. Styron for one of the best books I ever read.
Excellent, quick read. It was intriguing to read a memoir from someone who has lived through a suicidal depression. Suicide has had a lasting impact on my life. This book may shed some light for others on the debilitating effects of depression.
Average. This book is a mixture of good and bad. I bought this book because I have been diagnosed with depression for 4 years now and always am interested in reading other sufferers' accounts. Reading about William Syron's personal battle with depression is interesting, but because his major onset of he disease happened for him in the mid-1980s much of what he talks about is dated. Incredible strides have been taken over the past 25 years. Read it for his personal and accurate account of how depression manifests itself, but not for any type of "professional" resource on how to treat the disease.
Emma G. reviewed Darkness Visible : A Memoir of Madness on
Helpful Score: 1
This book changed my life. Styron puts into words thoughts that I couldn't begin to express to the world. If you suffer from depression (or seek to understand more) this book is a necessary step in your process!
Rebecca D. reviewed Darkness Visible : A Memoir of Madness on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is not a super easy read but it is well worth it to do so. Explains serious depression better than anything I've ever read before and talks about the attitudes of those who have not experienced depression or suicidal thoughts versus those who have. Presents an very good argument for changing our attitude towards suicide and the people who resort to it.
This is a memoir of the authors descent into the maelstrom of melancholia, a term he prefers to that of depression. Like Poes character, he is fortunate to extricate himself, but not without experiencing the throes of suicidal tendency. He recounts the suicides of many celebrities and makes a case against the use of certain prescription drugs that were part of his own early treatment. He was fortunate to recognize his problem early and to seek help until he found the correct path for him. A short but compelling book by one of our most gifted novelists.
More academic than I expected, Styron's extended essay on his experience with extreme depression does not propose a solution - or indeed the likely possibility of one- for depression, but it is curiously uplifting in its presentation of the realities, one of which is that Styron outlived his depression, so it is possible. Which may be all some in that situation may need.