A Powerful Work On Depression

Six words blew me off of my feet this weekend.
“Depression is the flaw in love.” – Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon

That’s the opening line of his four-hundred and forty-three page work subtitled An Atlas of Depression.

The volume looked depressing, sitting there on my shelf for the past few weeks. I delayed picking it up by reading a few other, more light-hearted works first. I think I was afraid to find out what was inside. I certainly was concerned that it would be a real downer.

Besides, what more could I possibly need to learn about depression? I’ve already been depressed. I thought, to some degree, I would already know most of the enclosed information.

Sometimes, the areas in which we think we know a little bit, we take for granted a little bit too. At least, I did in this case. It turns out that I have much to learn about depression. Solomon’s beginning sentence opened up a whole new way of thinking about depression for me.

I’ve always thought about my depression as a cognitive condition. That is still true, but, it is also connected to so much more. It’s part of the full spectrum of human emotions, which we all experience, such as loneliness, despair, happiness, and love.

This book is going to change the way I think about life, and make me re-think everything I thought about depression and mental illness.

I can tell you that despite the title, it is not depressing to read at all. It is inspiring. It is required.

Whether you’ve read the book or not, I’d love to hear what you think that sentence means.

Depression is the flaw in love.

 

3 thoughts

  1. I try to look at my depression as a clinical, physiological condition. In other words, a condition which I have to treat along with any other medical problems I might have, and sometimes the treatment works great and other times it doesn’t. I have a responsibility to initiate and pursue the treatment, but if there are times the treatment just doesn’t work, I just have to accept that it’s beyond my control, and hope the upswing comes soon.

    1. I think that what you said is true.
      The part that is beyond our control, that’s the fact that it’s part of the greater human condition, just like love.

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