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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My inclination is truthfulness leads more to seek help. Did I consider whether life was worth living anymore?

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. So, of course, the curious styroj of me wanted to read it. Styron is remarkable for his revelation of his illness, it is the taking off the mask that those battling depression wear so well, for so long. I was about to enter the room for my final exam.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron

His depression set in during middle age, when he was settled, married, and working. For him, it was the effect it would have had on his family. Maybe I’m being needlessly harsh in my one-star rating, but there was something about Styron’s memoir that really distressed me. I kept remembering the bliss of that day as I sank deeper into the lake my last breath bubbling to the surface and the incredible softness and beauty of the afternoon sun reaching below the surface and I in total surrender, enveloped by her.

Despite this though there are certainly touchstones of commonality for all of its sufferers. Styron was so in tune with his body and his moods and because he had been laboring so hard to arrange his life around his mood disturbances, he was also quite aware that his trip to Paris would be a problem. It’s the accumulated weight of decades of lived experience, which have somehow tilted you towards despair. She was a good woman. The loss of what they do is essentially the same as the loss of their identity.


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. When this book was first published inI avoided it because I was having a crisis of my own and felt that living through the same with Styron might not be healthy for me.

I have seen too many people devastated by the suicide of a loved one. Styron reveals his self medication with alcohol, perhaps an addiction, though he never calls it alcoholism. And all delivered in willizm seconds long cartoon commercial.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

I ztyron so sorry that Styron had to endure this but so glad he lived to write about it and share it with us. As assertively democratic as a Norman Rockwell poster, it strikes indiscriminately at all ages, races, creeds and classes, though women are at considerably higher risk than men.

Which drew an angry “Alors!

Williaam just as powerfully I realized I could not commit this desecration on myself. In a Vanity Fair articleWilliam Styron became one of the first celebrities to publicly acknowledge his battle with depression.

He realized that depression had been visiboe at my door for decades,” ever since his mother died when he was He concludes his memoir in an uplifting and candid way, acknowledging that yes, depression sucks, and yes, it gets better. Styron cracked apart in on a trip to Paris to accept the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca, awarded for his lifetime achievement in producing works reflecting on great humanism.

However, Styron had already sought an appointment with a psychiatrist in New York.

Illuminating depression

One dreads the loss of all things, all people close and dear. Considerable progress has been made in pharmacology for the treatment of clinical depression since Styron published Darkness Visible. This book was great, the only downfall, I would have liked to have read more!


However, many people who share those misconceptions, quite frankly do not read William Styron. The answer to that question is “I don’t know”. Refresh and try again. The following day, Styron checks himself into a hospital, which he had previously avoided on the advice of his psychiatrist, who harbors a strong opposition to institutional treatment.

Styron, even in his frozen state, apologized, did recognize his gaffe and told her he had a problem psychiatrique and that he was sick. On the physical side of depression: One of my literary pet peeves: When my son graduated from high school, I left work early one day, gathered clothes together, the kids came home to find me packing.

Styron had been enormously successful in his career as a novelist and essayist, but a constellation of events plunged him into a melancholy from which he could not extract himself. He details the near epic failure of his physician to deal with the disease through an apparent inability to grasp the reality of what Styron was experiencing, a problem for all outsiders to the disease, along with ineffective, or downright irresponsible, medication until the final moment of crisis when he was hospitalized and finally found the help he needed to recover.

A Memoir of Madness. Looking back I’ve had a major episode of depression at about every 15 years.

It was the same thing that kept Styron alive. I’ve never felt especially noble or touched by a strange, dark power or whatever–I’ve spent almost fifteen years of my life thinking that I’m broken and that I should cheer up visibl.