- Paperback: 84 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (January 8, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780679736394
- ISBN-13: 978-0679736394
- ASIN: 0679736395
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 499 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness Paperback – January 8, 1992
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In 1985 William Styron fell victim to a crippling and almost suicidal depression, the same illness that took the lives of Randall Jarrell, Primo Levi and Virginia Woolf. That Styron survived his descent into madness is something of a miracle. That he manages to convey its tortuous progression and his eventual recovery with such candor and precision makes Darkness Visible a rare feat of literature, a book that will arouse a shock of recognition even in those readers who have been spared the suffering it describes.
A chilling yet hopeful report from a mental wilderness into which one in ten Americans disappears...enlightening...fascinating. -- Chicago Sun-Times
Compelling...harrowing...a vivid portrait of a debilitating disorder...it offers the solace of shared experience. -- The New York Times
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William Styron is such a fine writer that his honest essay of how he was affected by a disease is deeply moving. I was touched by his honesty about it from the first page of the book. By the time I reached chapter Five I was crying because everything, every word, every emotion, every conclusion he drew was so close to what it feels to suffer from an illness like this that has been stigmatized form the beginning of times. I was shaken to the core of my being.
I read many of Mr. Styron's book, but this is the only time I read his own account on what it means to be mentally ill and how it affects not only a person who is suffering from the illness, but also that person's immediate family, friends and professional contacts. It is my belief that every medical professional working and helping mentally ill should read this book so they can truly understand the inner works of what it feels like to be depressed written by one of the finest minds and writers of out time. As much as this book shook me up emotionally, I am grateful that there was a person like Mr. Styron who has a courage to write it.
If you live with depression or have a loved one you would like to understand better, DARKNESS VISIBLE is an excellent place to start.
I have recommended this book to many people since reading it, to both friends who have never been depressed and to the clinicians who are helping me through this difficult experience. I plan to read it again very soon primarily because I think it is a masterpiece of language.
I recommend it to anyone who appreciates truly magnificent writing or to those who would like to understand more about one person's experience both experiencing and conquering depression.
As Mr. Styron rightly stated, everyone’s journey through depression is different. His experience is not necessarily the experience of another suffering from the same disease. I would highly recommend this book to anyone suffering from mental illness, as well as those close to them, so they may see that they are not alone and that there is hope.