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so ask already!!! > Understanding depression

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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Someone in my life is struggling with serious depression but it's difficult for me to understand since I've never experienced anything like it. Can you guys recommend any books that might help me understand it on a more emotional or experiential (as opposed to rational) level?

Either nonfiction or fiction is fine; I primarily want the representation of the experience to be accurate and truthful whether or not it's factually based in the details of someone's life.


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 33 comments As someone who's suffered from it, I thought Prozac Nation was a good depiction of what the whole experience was like. I also recommend The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression if you want non-fiction.


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Pearson | 6 comments Darkness Visible is also good.


message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie (hibi) | 31 comments I second Prozac Nation, and it has been a while but I think I remember Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light: A Memoir of Cutting, Healing, and Hope being particularly accurate. She deals with self-injury and eating disorders as well though, since those were her struggles secondary to depression. I am sure I know of more, I am going to think on this some more.

And, you are blessed. Depression is a terrible thing, like being swallowed up in a cloud of thick, dark clouds. Not being able to see or breathe or move. Just wanting to lay there, and do nothing more than existing. Even still, sometimes existing is even too much. Needless to say, it is the pits.


message 5: by Katie (new)

Katie (hibi) | 31 comments Also, I don't know if you prefer to read books dealing with a particular age group, but there is a lot regarding young adults. The one I remember most, this book has stayed with me for about ten years, I Can Hear the Mourning Dove. It might primarily deal with grief, but the portrait of depression is good (I think I remember actually thinking it was really beautiful).

There is also Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls which I haven't checked to see if you have read. It is a series of case studies basically. It deals specifically with adolescent girls too, but still good.


message 6: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
honestly, the best book i have ever read about depression is a graphic novel. it is about a young boy struggling to cope with and understand his father's behavior. it is intense, and it made me cry like no book ever has. Mother, Come Home. the pictures and the text are both very powerful stuff.


message 7: by Greg (new)

Greg | 117 comments The Trick Is to Keep Breathing is a good novel that I think pretty much nailed what depression feels like emotionally. It's a first person novel that is sometimes sort of painful and a slog to get through but I think it captures the mindset of being trapped in depression really well.


message 8: by Meredith (last edited Nov 05, 2011 07:42AM) (new)

Meredith Holley (meredithholley) | 194 comments I think Kay Jamison's books are really great about bipolar disorder. I'm not sure if that's in the same area as what you're looking for. An Unquiet Mind. And Jessica wrote a great review of it here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/....

This is also not exactly what you're looking for, probably, but Hyperbole and a half just did a post about depression: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com...


message 9: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Wow, lots of great suggestions so far. Thank you guys! The only one of these I've read already, I think, is Reviving Ophelia (and the Hyperbole and a Half strip), so I'll be looking for some of these at the library very soon.

Looks like my local public library has Mother, Come Home so I may start there.


message 10: by Katie (new)

Katie (hibi) | 31 comments Christy, I had thought you probably would have already read Reviving Ophelia. I checked right after I suggested it, to confirm. Mother, Come Home, looks good. I might read that myself.


message 11: by Sophie (last edited Nov 05, 2011 10:19AM) (new)

Sophie (sophiecdog) | 11 comments As someone who has suffered deep, dark, debilitating depression since the age of 17 (40 years now), the book that made a huge impression on me was The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. I have not had a serious bout with depression in at least 10 years, but this book nailed the experience for me. It was like I finally found someone who "got" me. It is and insightful, thoughtful and comprehensible book. It also addresses issues like addiction and depression. Like many depressed people, I self-medicated and Solomon's book really helped me understand this part of my experience. I wish your friend well, and I admire you for trying to comprehend your friend's experience. Unfortunately for me, I was part of the "pull up your socks and get over it" generation.


message 12: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 4 comments Sophie wrote: "As someone who has suffered deep, dark, debilitating depression since the age of 17 (40 years now), the book that made a huge impression on me was [book:The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression|13..."

Sophie, I agree - Noonday Demon is the best. I'm really thankful for that book.


message 13: by Jasmine (last edited Nov 06, 2011 09:47AM) (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments I second the trick is to keep breathing and prozac nation.

as someone who has had depressive episodes I like these

memoir
Girl, Interrupted
Darkness Visible

psych
Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression

novels
The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done: A Novel
Dear Everybody
Sharp Objects
A Long Way Down

although sharp objects (if that's the book I'm thinking of is about the specific brand of depression that comes along with cutting) and there is another book about cutting that I think is super helpful if you friend is on that track A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain


message 14: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 126 comments Sparrow wrote: "I think Kay Jamison's books are really great about bipolar disorder. I'm not sure if that's in the same area as what you're looking for. An Unquiet Mind. And Jessica wrote a great ..."

I second this recommendation.

For a much more humorous view, possibly look into Carrie Fisher's books.


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