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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

por Andrew Solomon

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,138335,462 (4.08)35
The author offers a look at depression in which he draws on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, doctors, and others to assess the complexities of the disease, its causes and symptoms, and available therapies. This book examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations, around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. He takes readers on a journey into the most pervasive of family secrets and contributes to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition.… (mais)
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» Ver também 35 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 33 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
"I lost a great innocence when I understood that I and my mind were not going to be on good terms for the rest of my life."

It is going to be dashed difficult to separate the experience of reading this book from the experience of living with depression, just as it was impossible for the author to separate writing about it from living with it.

The great innocence lost that is referred to in the first quotation taken from the book is the sense of being able to rely on your own mind, at least, even when you feel like you can't rely on anything or anyone else. And finding that this mind has a mind of its own and can work against you instead of for you is probably the bitterest disappointment and letdown that I don't wish on anyone.

Therefore, I'd like to argue that the most authoritative voices on depression are those of sufferers themselves. Andrew Solomon tackles the subject from a variety of perspectives, ranging from the deeply and painfully personal to the medical and societal, all told with grace and depth.

We are introduced to the many ugly faces of depression, and more importantly, the many voices of depressed people, because each case is different from the rest, and in each case a different combination of factors has conspired to bring about the unwanted result, politics/policy and poverty amongst those Solomon explores.

"Sometimes I wish I could see my brain. I’d like to know what marks have been carved in it. I imagine it grey, damp, elaborate. I think of it sitting in my head, and sometimes I feel as if there’s me, who is living life, and this strange thing stuck in my head that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. It’s very odd. This is me. This is my brain. This is the pain that lives in my brain. Look here and you can see where the pain scratched this thing, what places are knotty and lumped up, which places are glowing."

Among other new and fascinating things, this book introduces one of the most captivating theories for the cause of depression: the explanation of depression as a relic of evolution. It all serves to show admirably that this condition is valid and should be as visible as physical ailments, because the forces at work behind it are very real and cause almost unimaginable suffering to an unimaginably high number of people.

However, not all is bleak, because, as any good Wikipedia article will tell you, depression is highly treatable, and experience with it will teach you how to live with it. Nobody is happy all the time, not even those who, fortunately for them, don’t add depression to their list of medical problems. On the converse, however, nobody can be sad all the time either. There’s much comfort in the thought that feeling bad all the time is just physiologically unsustainable. The rain and the sun, you know, and all that rot. But, once again, Solomon makes a good point in explaining it:

"The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality, and my life, as I write this, is vital, even when sad."

Vitality in the face of being unable to get out of bed yet again. Just because life is low doesn't mean it stops. Depression is here to stay. So what? Like moving in with a new flatmate, your best bet is to get to know them. And now they have an entire atlas written about them.

Highly recommended for depressed people, those who think they might be, as well as their family and friends. ( )
  ViktorijaB93 | Apr 10, 2020 |
Down, so down, oh! The sorrow, I could drown
Overwhelming emotions, crowding my mind
It gets me down, this mundane grind
Like groundhog day, perpetual recurrence
Day in, day out, such annoyance
I'm starting with the man in the mirror, the Abyss
Lose the Ego, and find my bliss

Depression sucks! I suffer with acute insomnia as a symptom. This is when I do a great deal of my writing during the witching hours. Here is one of my many rhymes:

Insomnia



Tick Tock... Tick Tock...Tick Tock

In my head or simply on the wall the sound of the clock

Watching the hands go round and round

The constant repetition of that sound



Thoughts reverberating through my head

Over and over feelings of dread

Never ending like a silent pest

Will I ever get some needful rest



A crescendo of noise like a freight train through the night racing

A caged Tiger maddened and continuously pacing

An orchestra of voices distracting for sure

Falling asleep is such a chore



Oh! My sanity is waning for goodness sake

This feeling of being forever awake

Will I ever fall into slumber? Just a little sleep

And dream nice dreams and have memories to keep



The walls are watching, the ceiling, the floor

Oh! Is there anything that can cure?

This Insomnia that plagues me through the night

Eyes wide awake until it gets light



It's Four O'clock and outside birds are singing

And still in my mind bells are ringing

Yet deafening the silence around and within

Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! My consciousness needs healing





Just a snooze, even if fleeting

But all I can hear is my own heart beating

Eyes are sore and forehead throbbing

It's a forlorn melancholy like a Baby sobbing



My cat opens one eye with a curious look

As I churn through another chapter of a book

Yet tiredness does not descend on me still

Only a shudder from a sudden chill



Insomnia eats away at one's Soul

Black and endless like an ever expanding hole

It's the Witching Hour as I write this verse

I'll only sleep when I am lead in a Hearse



In a few hours it'll be time to rise...Oh! the emptiness and pain

And when the day is through...I'll do it all over again





By Leo. ( )
  nicademus7 | Dec 21, 2017 |
This book was part of a reading challenge for me, but I also chose it because I wanted to better understand what my best friend goes through when she suffers her periods of depression. I ended up with the audio version and I wasn't too disappointed. I'm not a fan of self help type books, so I entered worried that most of the audio would contain ways to change or improve, but this wasn't always the case, in fact, it gave me a very clear understanding of what it is like to suffer depression.

It felt a little self pitying to me, though. I understand that depression puts you in a certain mentality, but I felt as if that mentality was seeping through a lot of times. Yes, I wanted to understand the suffering, but not through the author's wallowing in it the way that he did at times. Not suffering from this myself, I can't confirm or deny the research or the alternative methods he used, but I wasn't coming to this book looking for answers for myself, only to understand the feelings of others. In that, I think the author succeeded rather well. ( )
  mirrani | Jun 24, 2017 |
An interesting mix of research and memoir. It includes descriptions of the author's own experience of depression, and those of many people he interviewed in the course of writing the book. He also provides much background, including the history of how depression has been understood and treated going back to early Greece. Another chapter focuses on poverty, describing the occurrence and treatment (or lack of it) of the disease in that community. It's a big book and I did a fair amount of skimming, but learned a lot. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
A masterpiece, one for lists of required reading.

Solomon is a story-teller, a scholar, and a great human being. I have no idea how he managed to write this book, but I'm glad he did.
1 vote bartt95 | Jan 15, 2017 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 33 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
''The Noonday Demon'' is a considerable accomplishment. It is likely to provoke discussion and controversy, and its generous assortment of voices, from the pathological to the philosophical, makes for rich, variegated reading. Solomon leaves us with the enigmatic statement that ''depression seems to be a peculiar assortment of conditions for which there are no evident boundaries'' -- exactly like life.
adicionada por melmore | editarNew York Times, Joyce Carol Oates (Jun 24, 2001)
 
Depression is a country that the undepressed can't enter, but Solomon, who has travelled there and knows it well, bends all his energy and talent as a writer to sending us snapshots from this terrifying land (mood, he writes, 'is a frontier like deep ocean or deep space'). The result is scary but far from dispiriting; at times, Solomon's voice, calling to us from beyond the frontier, achieves a lonely rapture.
adicionada por melmore | editarThe Guardian, Nicci Gerrard (May 5, 2001)
 
A reader’s guide to depression, hopelessly bleak yet heartbreakingly real.
adicionada por melmore | editarKirkus Review
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Solomon, Andrewautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
リカ ツツミTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bartosik, JolantaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Campello, MyriamTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Çapçı, BernaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Davids, TinkeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dedeağaç, GülderenTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
민승남Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
鄭慧華Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Grinde, HeidiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Holl, Hans GünterTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Στουπάκη, ΑγγελικήTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mateo, FernandoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Richetin, ClaudineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sørensen, Lisbeth W.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schroderus, ArtoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tatar, FundaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tissoni, AdriaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Zetterström, GunTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
李凤翔Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Дорман, АлександрTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
יוסי מילואTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Everything passes away—suffering, pain, blood, hunger, pestilence. The sword will pass away too, but the stars will still remain when the shadows of our presence and our deeds have vanished from the earth. There is no man who does not know that. Why, then, will we not turn our eyes toward the stars? Why?
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For my father,
who gave me life not once, but twice
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Depression is the flaw in love.
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"I will not have to seek far if I decide to kill myself, because in my mind and my heart I am more ready for this than for the unplanned daily tribulations that mark off the mornings and afternoons."
"Depressives have seen the world too clearly, have lost the selective advantage of blindness."
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The author offers a look at depression in which he draws on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, doctors, and others to assess the complexities of the disease, its causes and symptoms, and available therapies. This book examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations, around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. He takes readers on a journey into the most pervasive of family secrets and contributes to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition.

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