Depression: Through the Pain

You CAN make it through the pain.

“Darkness Visible” by William Styron

on June 11, 2013

Good morning!

Today’s book selection is Darkness Visible by William Styron.  He is also the author of Sophie’s Choice, Lie Down in Darkness, and others.  Darkness Visible is Styron’s memoir of his descent into major depression.  This book touched me like no other.  His description of major depression—or, at least, my experience of it—is spot on.  Reading this book, I knew I was not alone and that someone truly understood what I was experiencing.   See if this excerpt rings true for you.  If it doesn’t, you may want to choose another book with which to start.

“The pain persisted during my museum tour and reached a crescendo in the next few hours when, back at the hotel, I fell onto the bed and lay gazing at the ceiling, nearly immobilized and in a trance of supreme discomfort.  Rational thought was usually absent from my mind at such times, hence trance.  I can think of no more apposite word for this state of being, a condition of helpless stupor in which cognition was replaced by that ‘positive and active anguish.’  And one of the most unendurable aspects of such an interlude was the inability to sleep.  It had been my custom of a near-lifetime, like that of vast numbers of people, to settle myself into a soothing nap in the late afternoon, but the disruption of normal sleep patterns is a notoriously devastating feature of depression; to the injurious sleeplessness with which I had been afflicted each night was added the insult of this afternoon insomnia, diminutive by comparison but all the more horrendous because it struck during the hours of the most intense misery.”

Darkness Visible is less than 100 pages and well worth the read.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another book.

Blessings, Elizabeth

*** If you are new to this blog, it is best to start by reading “About” and the first entry that was posted on May 13, 2013.  Then read each consecutive entry, one per day.  Welcome!


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