2014 Memoirs Uncategorized

Black Rainbow by Rachel Kelly

Black Rainbow: How Words Healed Me: My Journey Through Depression

Five words from the blurb: depression, world, collapses, poetry, recovery

I hadn’t heard of this book until an unsolicited review copy popped through my letterbox, but I started reading and couldn’t put it down. Black Rainbow describes one woman’s decent into depression and how she recovered by using poetry and other literature.

Parts of the book frustrated me as I could see what she was doing wrong and became angry at the selfishness and lack of understanding shown by individual members of the public, but as the book progressed Rachel’s confidence improved and I found the scientific information about the causes of depression very interesting. I was also aware of the position of privilege Rachel was lucky enough to be in. She was able to pay for nannies to look after her children and buy private therapy as needed. It is sad to know that this isn’t possible for many. One of my friends has been waiting 18 months for the therapy Rachel was able to purchase instantly. You can learn more here about the best physical therapy. I hope that those in charge of NHS budgets read this book and realise how important mental health care is. Please don’t feel offended or ashamed of the terms women’s mental health, when being applied to you/us specifically. After age 40 so much is happening to us, so many changes and transitions. We don’t understand what is going on in our bodies. This means the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts of our bodies. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to teach a person new skills on how to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic approach. This title is used in many ways to differentiate behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and therapy that is based on both behavioral and cognitive therapies you can read more information about it Health Blog. There is empirical evidence that shows that cognitive behavioral therapy is quite effective in treating several conditions, including personality, anxiety, mood, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. Treatment is often manualized, as specific psychological orders are treated with specific technique-driven brief, direct, and time-limited treatments.

The emotional power of this book was impressive. It is rare to discover a book that allows the reader to completely understand another person’s mind, but this book gave an unflinchingly honest insight into the thoughts and feelings of a woman battling with mental illness. You can check out our naturopath doctor in Alberta, AB – Neurvana Health, for a womans health.

Rachel was a busy journalist, but after the birth of her second child she became anxious and unable to sleep. This triggered a breakdown of scary intensity. Her friends and family were unable to reach her and she became increasingly isolated. She was prescribed a series of medications that set her on the road to recovery, but poetry seemed to be the real healing power.

I would also repeat endlessly certain phrases and images from ‘The Flower’, another Herbert poem. One of my favourites was ‘Grief melting away/Like snow in May’……There were certain lines that spoke so powerfully to me it seemed as though they had been injected into my body.

I’m afraid I’ve never been a fan of poetry and so her examples did nothing for me, but I suspect they will be a real comfort to those who appreciate it.

Black Rainbow was well-written and had a strong narrative drive. I learnt a lot about depression and have a new understanding of the best way to interact with those who are suffering. This book is an important one and, in an ideal world, it should be read by everyone but especially those whose lives are touched by depression.


2013 Recommended books

The View on the Way Down by Rebecca Wait

The View on the Way Down

Five words from the blurb: brother, died, family, apart, truth

Emma is nine-years-old when her brother Kit dies. Her older brother, Jamie, disappears after the funeral and Emma is suddenly the only child in a grief-stricken household. Emma, Jamie, and their parents take turns to narrate the story, which shows how each individual is affected by Kit’s death. The book looks at depression and suicide and enables the reader to understand what depression feels like for both the sufferer and those around them.

I think the taboo surrounding suicide has finally been lifted as this is the third book I’ve read this year that deals with the subject. It was interesting to get an insight into what motivates people to end their life and by the end of the book I felt I understood the pain they go through:

He did nothing, simply carried on as before. Head down, struggling through the days. Keeping going, getting through. He’d always known, without having to consider it, that there was no chance of recovery. Not for him, not for any of them. The passing years hadn’t changed a thing. There was no getting over this.

The subject was handled with great sensitivity and had clearly been very well researched (if not personally experienced?). It provided a lot of useful information about interacting with those who suffer from depression and it would be wonderful if this book helped to reduce the stigma faced by families who have lost someone to suicide.

The writing was simple, but effective. It was compelling and managed to maintain my interest throughout – mainly because the characters felt so realistic. It is rare to read a book that manages to capture the thoughts and emotions of so many different people and I loved the fact I could understand and empathise with them all, despite their differing viewpoints. The View on the Way Down didn’t quite move me to tears, but it produced the biggest lump my throat has experienced this year – a surprising accolade that I didn’t think could be taken away from the real-life heartbreak of The Son.

I hope that word about this book spreads and everyone reads it quietly, with an open mind. It is very sad, but the world would be a better place if everyone understood the heartache and challenges of living with depression.

Highly recommended.


The thoughts of other bloggers:

I don’t use ratings on my blog anymore but if I did this book would get 6 out of 5. Little Reader Library

…(a) spell-binding debut that has completely blown me away. The Unlikely Bookworm

 a stunning novel and one which I’ve been unable to review yet because every time I’ve tried, I start crying. The Bibliomouse

2009 Non Fiction Recommended books

The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression by Andrew Solomon

The Noonday Demon

Five words from the blurb: depression, research, history, society, recovery

Earlier this year I read Far From the Tree, an outstanding book that made me look at the world in a new light. Keen to repeat the experience I found Andrew Solomon’s earlier book, The Noonday Demon, and am pleased to report that it is equally insightful.

The Noonday Demon is a thorough examination of depression. Taking different areas in turn it looks at everything from the politics surrounding mental health; through medications used to treat the condition; to reasons the human brain might have evolved to include depression. Throughout the book there are personal stories that bring the subject to life, giving the reader a deep empathy for those who are suffering. Long-term administration оf tianeptine саn prevent thеѕе unhealthy impairments bу blocking stress bеfоrе іt does іtѕ damage.

This isn’t a book for those with depression, although they’ll probably benefit from reading it, but as 25% of the population suffer from mental health problems this book is relevant to our whole society. It raises many issues, some of which are controversial, but all are discussed in an intelligent and thought provoking way. Everyone will be able to relate to the deep sadness brought on by grief and this book explains why some people will have to endure this experience for other, sometimes unknown, reasons.

In Far From the Tree Solomon showed that disability and difference can be viewed in a positive light. In The Noonday Demon he shows how depression can also be viewed in the same way. Those who come out of a depressive episode have more empathy for others and a greater ability to find pleasure in the simple things in life.

On the happy day when we lose depression, we will lose a great deal with it. If the earth could feed itself and us without rain, and if we conquered the weather and declared permanent sun, would we not miss grey days and summer storms? As the sun seems brighter and more clear when it comes on a rare day of English summer after ten months of dismal skies than it can ever seem in the tropics, so recent happiness feels enormous and embracing and beyond anything I have ever imagined.

The author shared his personal experiences and this insight added a painful authenticity to the text. I found the section in which the author talked about the assisted suicide of his terminally ill mother particularly striking.

If you have never tried it yourself or helped someone else through it, you cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is to kill yourself. If death were a passive thing, which occurred to those who couldn’t be bothered to resist it, and if life were an active thing, which continued only by virtue of a daily commitment to it, then the world’s problem would be depopulation and not overpopulation.

My only minor quibble is that the statistics tended to focus on the US. The plight of the poor without medical insurance was heartbreaking to read, but I would like to know the limitations of the UK system and how other countries cope. I also found the chapter on medications a bit boring. I’m sure it will be of great use to those on these drugs, but I found the detail of doses and side effects hard to get through.

Overall this is a masterpiece of research. It made me look at mental health in a new light and I highly recommend it to everyone.