Trying to understand depression? Read this.

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression.

By Andrew Solomon.

Do you or someone you love struggle with depression?

This book carefully examines depression from a personal, cultural and scientific perspective.

I read this book with a highlighter in my hand, as it felt like Andrew had invented a new language for a a diagnosis that is barely recognized as a disease in our society.  Here are two quotes that will give you a sense of how brilliant Andrew is in teaching about this complex topic:

Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.

 

Depression?  It’s like trying to come up with clinical parameters for hunger, which affects us all several times a day, but which in its extreme version is a tragedy that kills its victims.  Some people need more food than others; some can function under circumstances of dire malnutrition; some grow weak rapidly and collapse in the streets.  Similarly, depression hits different people in different ways: some are predisposed to resist or battle through it, while others are helpless in its grip.

If I could force everyone to learn the concepts in this book, we would have a society that is able to exercise compassion for this invisible illness.

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