The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Darkness Visible by William Styron The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon Prozac . Chris Cox: William Styron’s Darkness Visible remains, two decades on, a beacon of hope in this benighted realm of experience. The New York Times–bestselling memoir of crippling depression and the struggle for recovery by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Sophie’s Choice.

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Darkness Visible (memoir) – Wikipedia

Additionally, Styron stresses the importance of perseverance and taking initiative in seeking help and treatment for not only depression, but for any mental illness. When I discovered that he had also written an account of his struggle with severe depression, I knew I wanted to read it. Aug 16, Reid rated it really liked it Shelves: Feb 01, Tara rated it it was amazing Shelves: We are not talking about a few days or even depression over a week or two, but rather months where the elevator keeps going down no matter how many times one thump This very small volume was not an easy read.

He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. Do you think it’s pleasant being around you? My thoughts swirl over the important content of Styron’s brief memoir originally delivered as a lecture in Baltimore, At first I was nervous about reading this book because my mother was bipolar, my paternal grandfather suffered from serious depression, and my sister died because of her depression, taking her own life.

I’m better now, thanks to caring friends and divine intervention. Open Preview See a Problem? In feeling unequal to the task of avoiding triggers that send you into depths that despite their destructive tendencies seem at times either desirable or necessary, like picking at a fresh wound to morbidly watch it bleed?

It wasn’t my time. One was a gripping story of an impossible moral dilemma, called Sophie’s Choice ; and the other was a controversial fictionalized account of a real-life slave revolt which occurred in Virginia inled by slave and fiery preacher, called The Confessions of Nat Turner.


Loading comments… Trouble loading? Is there anything more self-destructive than depression? I explained their darkmess and I couldn’t get along anymore. It is ultimately at the hospital that Styron finally emerges from his depression and eventually makes a full recovery.

There is an acute fear of abandonment.

Illuminating depression

I did lose control of my emotions more than once on closing argument before a jury and cried. I drew upon some last gleam of sanity to perceive the terrifying dimensions of the mortal predicament I had fallen into.

How about, women are more forthcoming and truthful in reporting depression. His book becomes like a stone dropped into a still pond. When my son graduated from high school, I left work early one darknes, gathered clothes together, the kids came home to find me packing. Literary Memoirs Literary Studies: And just as powerfully I realized I could not commit this desecration on myself. Judicious editing might have decreased the adjective to noun ratio by a factor of two or so.

Refresh and try again.

There are many other lessons to be learned from this book. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. Featured photo of William Styron: He infuses his account with bits of dark humor as well as allusions to others who have endured suicidal thoughts: The second time, my wife. Finally facing that he could no longer ‘white knuckle’ his way through social and professional engagements, he sought assistance from a psychotherapist he called Dr.

When that President initiated the same tactics against me, I became frozen by anxiety, incapable of focus, unable to function. I have flashbacks at times. But I guess what I really struggled with, in reading this memoir, was the notion of finding anything noble in suffering from depression. W Many years ago I read two powerful novels.


It’s the accumulated weight of decades of lived experience, which have somehow tilted you towards despair. I was an Assistant District Attorney. This book chronicles that descent.

Darkness Visible : William Styron :

That was the case for me. It also tackled head-on the pervasive assumption that depression is vjsible down to individual weakness, particularly when it drives people to suicide.

And because no breeze stirs this caldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, its entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.

A Memoir of Madness by William Styron. Did I consider whether life was worth living anymore? By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use dafkness Privacy Policy. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

We are not talking about a few days or even depression over a week or two, but rather months where the elevator keeps going down no matter how many times one thumps the Up button. Can you conceive the helplessness of being able to perceive the lies that your own brain is telling you, but still being unable to escape them?

Again, it wasn’t my time. The information contained in this little volume is too important to trust to hastily dashe Darkness Visible: He must trust that readers who have never experienced suicidal depression will find points of connection with him as well as points of difference, thereby experiencing the heretofore unfamiliar as familiar.

Styron began to feel more and more distressed and anxious in anticipation of his Paris excursion, when the time finally arrived, he managed to get through it, although not without a tremendous amount of difficulty.

On the physical side of depression: