I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of Is come into me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; Yet trouble came. I had first met him during the wild days and nights of the Democratic convention in Chicago, where I had gone to write a piece for The New York Review of Books, and I later was one of those who testified in behalf of him and his fellow defendants at the trial, also in Chicago, in Amid the pious follies and morbid perversions of American life, his antic style was exhilarating, and it was hard not to admire the hell-raising and the brio, the anarchic individualism. I wish I had seen more of him in recent years; his sudden death left me with a particular emptiness, as suicides usually do to everyone.
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The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come- not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute.
If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying- or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity- but moving from pain to pain.
And this results in a striking experience- one which I have called, borrowing military terminology, the situation of the walking wounded. For in virtually any other serious sickness, a patient who felt similar devistation would by lying flat in bed, possibly sedated and hooked up to the tubes and wires of life-support systems, but at the very least in a posture of repose and in an isolated setting.
His invalidism would be necessary, unquestioned and honorably attained. However, the sufferer from depression has no such option and therefore finds himself, like a walking casualty of war, thrust into the most intolerable social and family situations. There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship.
He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words.
Comedy is hard. The information contained in this little volume is too important to trust to hastily dashed off thoughts, without the benefit of careful consideration. For much of what he has to say, also applies to me, as it does to many among us. Yet, I am not unaware of the stigma brought about by confession.
[PDF] Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness Book by William Styron Free Download (84 pages)
In it, he described depression as "a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self — to the mediating intellect — as to verge close to being beyond description. The publication of Darkness Visible helped break the silence around depression, which many suffered in solitude. It also tackled head-on the pervasive assumption that depression is simply down to individual weakness, particularly when it drives people to suicide. And it argued from weathered experience that anyone suffering from depression must not, whatever happens, give up — indeed, its closing pages are profoundly redemptive, offering hope and guidance to anyone who has been affected by the condition.
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
He tentatively concludes that his depression was brought about by his sudden withdrawal from years of alcoholism and exacerbated by his overdependence on Halcion , a prescription drug that he took to treat insomnia. As his depression becomes more severe, Styron seeks multiple treatment methods, including psychotherapy , consulting with a psychiatrist , and countless antidepressants , but to no avail. Initially, Styron is able to function better in the morning than in the afternoon and evening, but he soon struggles to even get out of bed. He eventually loses the ability to perform basic tasks such as driving and often contemplates suicide.