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Topic: Bios/Memoirs of people with depression?

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JillSparrow avatar
Subject: Bios/Memoirs of people with depression?
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 19
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I'm looking for some bios or memoirs of people (famous or not) that have depression or have faced depression in their lives. I have Dorothy Hamill's new bio on my wish list but I'd like to look for some more, either here on PBS or just to buy in real life. It would really mean alot to me and be a lot cheaper than therapy (poor college grad working part time in retail... yeah). Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.


Sara D

silent0042 avatar
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 295
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There is a lot of stuff about Silvia Plath...I don't think it's possible to be more depressed than she was.  Also, I really enjoyed the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman even though she lived before the era of lots of drugs to cope it still made me feel better.  Gilman should be available to read online if you check the U-Penn online books page.

bookaddicted avatar
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Date Posted: 10/4/2007 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,232
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There are many more. Go to Amazon and in the search area typr Depression Memoir (it will also mix in books about The Depression  Era so you have to weed those out)

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/5/2007 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 120
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The Brook Shields book was good, I just released mine into the wild as no one seemed to want it, I found it very well writen.  Karen

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2007
Posts: 28
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Darkness Visible - William Styron.

Beautifully written.


apachesun avatar
Date Posted: 10/24/2007 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 80
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I agree that Darkness Visible was an amazing memoir about William Styron's depression. I was lucky enough to hear him speak and get my book signed before he died. 

I also liked:  Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, The Noonday Demon: an Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon,  On the Edge of Darkness: America's Most Celebrated Actors, Journalists, and Politicians Chronicle Their Most Arduous Journey compiled by kathy Cronkite, Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression by Nell Casey-just to name a few. (The Journals of Sylvia Plath as well as The Bell Jar which is fiction but somewhat autobiographical. )


Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/30/2007 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 94
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Another vote for Darkness Visible by William Styron.

Jenny28 avatar
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 230
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I second both the Noonday Demon and Darkness Visible.  Please excuse my saying this, but if you're really looking to avoid therapy, try Feeling Good by David Burns or Overcoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and Behaviors by Albert Ellis.  Cognitive Behavioral and Rational Emotive Behavioral therapy programs, respectively, and effective.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/4/2007 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2007
Posts: 946
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Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.  I honestly haven't read the book but saw the movie based from the book.

twomanybooks64 avatar
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Date Posted: 12/11/2007 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
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Marie Osmond (sp?) has a book about post-partum depression.  Patty Duke has a couple about her bouts with manic depression. Kay Jamison (sp? again) has written extensively on this topic. I think one of her titles is An Unquiet Mind. Another title you might like (by a different author - not sure who offhand) is You Are Not Alone.  A good self-help book (I know slighly off-topic) is Do One Thing Different by Bill O'Hanlon. The basic thesis of the book is that people should notice what they are doing or thinking about when they get depressed and do something different.  It has helped me with my own bouts of depression. Unfortunately, it runs in my family. The novelist Danielle Steele (sp? again??) wrote a book about depression also.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/14/2007 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 9
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I know you are looking for biographies, but some books that were helpful for me whether cheering me up or just making me think were: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, Sidhartha, House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, White Oleander by Janet Fitch.


Hope that helps.

deanna17240 avatar
Date Posted: 12/25/2007 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
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Just finished reading Why I Jumped by ?Tina Zahn.  It's on my bookshelf.  Hardback with DJ in great condition.  It's about a lady who suffers from severe clinical depression and postpartum depression who attempts to jump off a bridge.  It's a story of her life, depression, and recovery.  Good, quick read.  Recommended.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/26/2007 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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An Unquiet Mind is by Kay Redfield Jamison, and it is sub-titled "A Memoir of Moods and Madness".  Jamison is Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and co-author of the standard medical text.  Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive illness.  She has also experienced it firsthand. 

The New York Timews Book Review said: "An invaluable memoir of manic depression, at once medically knowledgeable, deeply human and beautifully written...at times poetic, at times straightforward, always unashamedly honest."

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 1/28/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2007
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If you like poetry you could read Anne Sexton's work...she did eventually commit suicide - her poems are very powerful. In particular you might enjoy "To Bedlam and Partway Back." I do believe there's a biography of her also (maybe by her daughter?) but my memory is not at all what it used to be!

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Date Posted: 2/5/2008 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Last Edited on: 2/13/08 10:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 2/13/2008 7:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 2
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'Hello to All That' by John Falk

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2005
Posts: 462
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I second the Patty Duke recommendation.  :)

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