Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Journey Through Darkness:

My Life With Chronic Depression - (Sunday Magazine, May 10, 2009)
by Daphne Merkin
"Depression, truth be told, is both boring and threatening as a subject of conversation. In the end there is no one to intervene on your behalf when you disappear again into what feels like a psychological dungeon — a place that has a familiar musky smell, a familiar lack of light and excess of enclosure — except the people you’ve paid large sums of money to talk to over the years. I have sat in shrinks’ offices going on four decades now and talked about my wish to die the way other people might talk about their wish to find a lover."

This is a fine narrative of the author's travail in Depression's Dark Wood. It highlights the disconnects between patients and the professionals and sheds some light on the vagaries of recovery. William Osler commenting on Robert Burton's tome "The Anatomy of Melancholy" wrote that if the work had just been a medical text it would have “since sunk in the ooze” like so many other 17th century medical works but it lives on because of the human sympathy of his approach. So too with this fine essay. Along with Burton's opus, Ms. Merkin's article has the power to illuminate the darkness and educate patients, families and professionals.

Full article: A Journey Through Darkness.