This a harrowing first person account of mental illness. An extraordinary peek into that hellish world.
Here is a short passage:
When I return, the room is as still and silent as it was when I left, nothing moving but faint dust motes in the lamplight. Not one of the men looks at me, yet I have an unnerving sense that they have been waiting for me to return.
Then it hits me: they know I am a dead man walking, a ghost already in their midst. What are they going to do to me? What have they done? What have they set in motion? How am I to die?
And it is so blindingly obvious then: the car, it is the car; while I was in the bathroom they placed a booby-trap bomb under my car and it will explode and kill me when I turn the key in the ignition. It is their guilt at my impending execution that causes them to avert their gaze: they feel remnants of guilt already that they have killed me.
A sudden sob escapes me. I momentarily break down in front of them, in fear of what is about to happen, and in self-pity. Defeated, deflated, totally abject and bereft now, I accept my fate.
This is a lived reality of mental illness and is frequently gripping throughout. Highly recommended.
I have long tried to understand this illness, given that we have two close family members with the disease. The stigma is still strong, but a lot more understanding of the disease is out there which is breaking down long held barriers.
This is as good a description of depression that I have yet heard.
I listen to a podcast called Mental Illness Happy Hour (#mentalpod), and have done so for almost 8 years or so. Since a brain injury, and even before, I have had an abiding interest in the brain. The podcast, hosted by Paul Gilmartin (TV host and standup comedian), has guests who discuss their mental illnesses candidly and without restraint. The podcast goes to some very dark places indeed, so that if that is not your bag, I’d give it a pass.
I have some loved ones who suffer depression, and the podcast has given me an unparalleled insight into what that is like for the sufferer. Occasionally, professionals are interviewed discussing many topics related to mental illness and its many manifestations.