Adventures in Books… An Unquiet Mind

I got this out of the library. It is on all the lists of book to read about depression and manic depressive illness so I thought I would give it a go.

It wasn’t a difficult read, but I also didn’t find it particularly useful. The authors journey is amazing, but it is extreme. She is also in an extremely helpful working environment – hospitals and universities studying the illness – so she had the support she needed to keep functioning. I felt she only hints at the extreme nature of her moods through selected examples and this was enlightening but controlled.

I suppose it didn’t feel like real life. I feel extremely lucky to live in an area that does have good support for mental illness, but I don’t know any therapists or counsellors as personal friends so navigating friendships has been one of the hardest parts. She describes pushing people away, but because work with mental health they know to not her get away with it. That doesn’t happen in real life – you push people away and they don’t all come back.

I totally understood her fear of people finding out – especially at work. Writing this book was extremely brave and a fascinating insight into the life of a manic depressive, but I was hoping for more insight into getting help for yourself. I think this is what disappointed me the most about the book. I wasn’t expecting self-help chapters, but more direction I suppose.

Overall a good book on the subject and I would recommend to read it if you suffer from depression, but make sure you can handle reading about extremes of the subject before you do.

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