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Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression Paperback – January 8, 2002
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The writers' descriptions of "dwelling in depression's dark wood" (William Styron) are disturbing and haunting, laden with vivid imagery. "My heart pumped dread," writes Lesley Dormen. David Karp describes his depression as sometimes a "grief knot" in his throat, sometimes chest pain like a heart attack, sometimes "an awful heaviness" in his eyes and head. From her teenage years, Darcey Steinke would wrap herself in an old comforter and lie in a fetal position on top of her shoes in the closet (her brother called this her "poodle bed"). Nancy Mairs describes being institutionalized: "Lock [a woman] into a drab and dirty space with dozens of other wayward souls, make sure that she is never alone, feed her oatmeal and bananas until her bowels are starched solid, drug her to the eyeballs so that she can scarcely read or speak, and threaten to shoot bolts of electricity through her brain." If you want to know depression from the inside, from thoroughly gifted writers, you'll find it here. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unholy Ghost reflects the ordeal of depression via the perspectives of those coping with it. The DSM-IV provides a skeletal structure for understanding the diagnosis. These essays add flesh to the framework. The reader is given an opportunity to intimately connect with each writer's experience of anguish. Some might criticize these essays as self-absorbed and declare the writers to be imperfect. Well, that's the point. This book is about personal involvement, revealing humans who try to genuinely articulate their journeys. Among many viewpoints, the reader will grapple with the issue of taking medication while pregnant, what it is like to be an African American woman who is depressed, how one person's "failed" suicide led to a reckoning with life, trying to understand the heritability of depression, and the general strange reality of living with this heavy companion.
This book does not contain answers. It is ponderous and sometimes disconsolate reading. What it does is invite the reader to walk alongside each writer and learn vicariously what depression can be. As a person who lives with major depression and dysthymia, I was fascinated by these voices and heartened by their company. As a psychotherapist, these essays will be a valuable tool for me in educating people about the dimensions of depression.
Rereading the book almost 10 years later, I find the stories still resonate and the truths are still there. I have changed my rating since the cloud of my own depression has lifted and I have a safer place from which to view. ML
this is an incredible book - gripping, powerful, and intense.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a complete necessity for writers who suffer from depression, and also anyone else who is seeking information on how depression effects those who suffer from it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Presela Anne
A moving compilation of essays by people who really know how to convey their struggles to overcome their mood disorders. Read morePublished 3 months ago by al
This is a sincere collection of writers writing about depression - those who experienced it and some who experienced depressed loved ones. Read morePublished 23 months ago by J. Reinhart
As a man who has been depressed all my life, whether I knew it or not, Unholy Ghosts expresses so much of what I have felt all these years. Read morePublished on May 17, 2014 by Jotham W. Bailey