Down, so down, oh The sorrow, I could drownOverwhelming emotions, crowding my mindIt gets me down, this mundane grindLike groundhog day, perpetual recurrenceDay in, day out, such annoyanceI m starting with the man in the mirror, the AbyssLose the Ego, and find my blissDepression 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 TockTick TockIn my head or simply on the wall the sound of the clockWatching the hands go round and roundThe constant repetition of that sound Thoughts reverberating through my headOver and over feelings of dreadNever ending like a silent pestWill I ever get some needful rest A crescendo of noise like a freight train through the night racingA caged Tiger maddened and continuously pacingAn orchestra of voices distracting for sureFalling asleep is such a chore Oh My sanity is waning for goodness sakeThis feeling of being forever awakeWill I ever fall into slumber Just a little sleepAnd dream nice dreams and have memories to keep The walls are watching, the ceiling, the floorOh Is there anything that can cure This Insomnia that plagues me through the nightEyes wide awake until it gets light It s Four O clock and outside birds are singingAnd still in my mind bells are ringingYet deafening the silence around and withinSleep Sleep Sleep My consciousness needs healing Just a snooze, even if fleetingBut all I can hear is my own heart beatingEyes are sore and forehead throbbingIt s a forlorn melancholy like a Baby sobbing My cat opens one eye with a curious lookAs I churn through another chapter of a bookYet tiredness does not descend on me stillOnly a shudder from a sudden chill Insomnia eats away at one s SoulBlack and endless like an ever expanding holeIt s the Witching Hour as I write this verseI ll only sleep when I am lead in a Hearse In a few hours it ll be time to riseOh the emptiness and painAnd when the day is throughI ll do it all over again By Leo Depression Man it sucks My soul, it is broken, will it ever be mendedI was once happy go lucky but, it has all endedAn empty shell, a void, a deep blue, a dried up huskOnce the life and soul of the party, from dawn to duskNow a sad sack, melancholy, forlorn, no self esteemWorthless, useless, no bloody good, unloved, withoutNo matter how I try, there is no doubtI will fail, always, cos that is what I doEverything, every outcome, no hope it is trueI only hurt the ones I love, my family and my friendsThis feeling of despair, repetition, it never endsNo sleep at night, thoughts racing through my mindMonkey chatter, worries, scenarios of every kindWhat if this What if that What will I do Is it real If this happens, or that happens, fills me with a chillA panic attack, a meltdown, spiraling out of controlManic, incoherent, embarrassed, left feeling a foolStuck in a cycle, a box, a chasm, a rutA recluse, the crazy old man, a loner, a nutWatching the clock, tick, tock, tick, tockWasting away, no inspiration, or motivation, writers blockHoping to escape the mediocrity, get recognition, the ball rolling, a startShow my prose, the way I write, exclusively from my HeartBy Leo I remember an extreme episode of bipolar when a friend was criticising a book I like, no memory of the book but my response I will never forget May I suggest try reading the book again only this time backwards It might undo the heartache you have suffered I can be quite cutting and it really hits home Can t see the woods for the trees or have no reason Suburban RutThis little creepy man, lives in the flat belowThe Council covertly moved him in, ten years agoHe is man who ticks all of their boxes, looked afterI often hear him, cackling, maniacal laughterHe hoards rubbish, we have rats and flies, an eyesoreHe does not wash, and plays up, porn, extreme hard core Stands behind his curtain, and his front door naked, deviant behaviourBut the left wing housing officer, is his saviourIgnored our concerns, for this man needs supervisionHe wanders around at night, and turns the sound up on his televisionPeers through people s letterboxes, a Peeping Tom, leeringWe have complained about him for years, but nobody is hearingA single word we say, we get accused of a hate crimeYet he does his thing, all the timeWe are left feeling like a foolWe live one hundred yards from a primary school They have been complaining, parents tooBut he gets protected, it really is trueThe police secured his front door, as he is apparently vulnerableNot the preteens, who he watches, as they come home from schoolI have extreme mental health issues too, bipolar and distressAnd I have lived in my property for 30 years, what a messBought it from the council in 2003Ploughed blood, sweat and tears, and 40,000, into my propertyAnd I am the villain, apparently, not he We installed CCTV, to catch him in the act, his friends alsoThe dirty drug dealers, in the next block over, imposing their Will, I think my head is going to Blow Have these people walked straight off the set of the Jeremy Kyle Show Hoarding rubbish, loud noise, every day is a party, it is driving me InsaneBuilding alliances with other neighbours, and pointing the finger of BlameSuburbia is becoming a ghetto, and quirky is the new normalAny rationale, is replaced with hate, now it is fine to be abnormalDo as thou wilt, in this new paradigm, it is all invertedOnly criminals are helped, along with deviants, and people who are pervertedThe drug dealers complained about our cameras, WTF Really OMG The left wing housing officer ordered us to remove them Cheeky fucking SOD.Since these people have been moved in, the area now is not niceNeedles, rubbish, noise, leering, violence and all types of ViceI am so hoping I can leave this suburban RutAs I write this poem, tremors cramp my gutThe bipolar is starting to kick in, I feel wiredBut do not have any energy left, I am so tiredI find it really hard these days to get up and be inspiredWhen I am surrounded by hate, deviants, it is a swamp, a quagmireIs there anybody Who can give me some advice, aid me in any way To gain popularity for my prose, I have no income, only PIP, a pittance of payTook me eighteen months, such stress, to get itEven though I paid in for years, a system that is Shit Numerous breakdowns, even tried to take my own lifeAnd other residents have been threatened with violence, and a pulling of a knifeThese scumbags, they don t scare me, just make my life intolerableThey are cowards, who hide behind the LawEven though they are the ones that constantly offendIt seems that in this new order, being like this is the trendReintegrated back into society, but they don t have to changeThe rest of us, have to adapt, it is very strangeThe apathy is tangible, residents live in a bubbleNot really communicating, life is now a struggleHow much longer will the masses take We have to take back control, for our children s sakePoliticians, law, acts and legalityIs bringing in a new dawn, a different realityWhere anything goes, it is ok to be different, no problem with that, it is fineIs there a cut off point Where do we draw the line I have been warned, not to talk about it, how unfairBut it has gone on for so long now, I just don t fucking careThe down stairs neighbour s behaviour, is really taking its tollHe was spotted committing an act, with a Chinese Sex Doll But remember he is vulnerable, according to the leftAnd everybody else is bigoted, racist, and cruel at bestSo what is to become of the majority of people Do we carry on with the acquiescence Like robots or sheeple Are we as humanity completely free Can we say what we want Is there transparency Do the leaders do a good job Do they care Are we in Fear Or are they looking out for number one, enhancing their careerI could write so much , the words are now flowingA myriad of scenarios, in my head, growingToo many words for my fingers to catch up, followI keep pressing the wrong keys, and the words seem hollowBut I guess I must end, for words these days are limited, stifled, shortSo I will end now, for I don t want to get flagged, or put on reportBy Leo After slogging through a large chunk of The Noonday Demon, I ve come to accept I just can t see it through to the end This book is lethal alternately depressing readers, boring readers, and making readers roll their eyes so hard they pop out of their heads.First depression on any level, mild or major, brief or chronic, is a painful, crippling ailment Anyone who pulls themselves up and fights automatically earns a bit of my respect I know how hard the attack is and how hopeless it can seem.Too bad Solomon s battle resulted in this book Self absorption is a trademark of the genre I expect that But self absorption is different from and tolerable than self pity, and Solomon s writing is solidly wallowing in self pity whenever he s talking about himself And try be a little grateful, sir, for your good fortune to be born into privilege Most of us weren t so damned lucky Even the self absorbed know when they ve been handed a gift A lot of the science, studies, and numbers discussed in The Noonday Demon are extremely outdated Solomon used the best information he had at the time, but if you want up to date information of that sort, look elsewhere.While there s nothing wrong with exploring alternative medicine, there s quite a bit of pseudo science bullshit presented here, mixed in with actual facts, jumbled together in a way that could be downright dangerous Very concerning.And beyond all of this So much of The Noonday Demon is dry and downright boring The few engaging passages are nice, but a reader has to manage to stay awake first, and even then there s a sense that many of his personal anecdotes are told simply to be shocking, very much in the Look how fucked up I was Be amazed category Maybe that works for some readers, but I m not one of them.I ve learned many things from my own battle with major depression, one of which is appreciating the time I have to experience life That s why I m putting Solomon s work to the side life s too short to waste it on finishing books like this. The survivors stay on pills, waiting We go on You cannot choose whether you get depressed and you cannot choose when or how you get better, but you can choose what to do with the depression, especially when you come out of it This was an incredible book that took me months to read, a dense mighty tome about depression It weaves together the author s personal experience of multiple breakdowns and decades of treatments with other narratives, scientific research, historical background, and social context and sometimes literature Rather than try to summarize depression, he lets it stay messy as it really is, different for each person, with no clear path for treatment I learned a lot, and hopefully my increased understanding will make me a better boss, a better faculty advisor, and a better friend.This was also discussed on Episode 009 of the Reading Envy Podcast Google document of marked bits TED,Depression, the secret we shareThe Noonday Demon An Atlas of DepressionThe most accurate statement that can be made on the frequency of depression is that it occurs often and, directly or indirectly, affects the lives of everyone,You don t think in depression that you ve put on a grey veil and are seeing the world through the haze of a bad mood You think that the veil has been taken away, the veil of happiness, and that now you re seeing truly You try to pin the truth down and take it apart, and you think that truth is a fixed thing, but the truth is alive and it runs aroundeye movement desensitization and reprocessing EMDR ndeup PETAIt is often said that depression is a thing to which a leisured class falls prey in a developed society in fact, it is a thing that a certain class has the luxury of articulating and addressing, LimboWhy do you doubt your senses Because, said Scrooge, a little thing affects them A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato, BBC , I wouldn t be who I am without depression and I love the person I am 30Every day, I choose, sometimes gamely and sometimes against the moment s reason, to be alive Is that not a rare joy A piercing, painful, and oh so necessary book, The Noonday Demon An Atlas of Depression examines depression through a cultural, personal, and scientific lens Andrew Solomon, well known for his TED Talks and his varied publications, reveals the agonizing depths of the illness as well as its progression through time His thoughtful and insightful perspective supplements his extensive research, and he analyzes several of depression s facets how it spans different parts of the world, how it affects the brain and its neurotransmitters, its part in politics, its relation to suicide, and Solomon pairs facts with his own experience of depression and discusses the disease in unique ways, ranging from the gender dynamics of depression to its presence in those who live in poverty.My one qualm with this book comes from Solomon s attitude toward those who face mental illness and commit violent acts While I feel empathy for those who act out of an anger they cannot control, I repudiate any acceptance of abuse, physical or emotional, toward anyone Solomon writes that he does not accept such hurtful behavior, but I wanted of a stance than that Despite this issue, Solomon s hope for reform and revitalization impressed me throughout the book, even in the face of bleak circumstances Recommended to those with even a remote interest in depression Read The Noonday Demon if you want to understand a friend or family member s plight without asking them or pestering them read this book if you want to understand a disease that devastates a great number of people I cannot wait to read of Solomon s writing. And this ladies and gentlemen, is how you write about depression. Sometimes, The Legacy Of Depression Includes A Wisdom Beyond One S Years, A Depth Of Passion Unexperienced By Those Who Haven T Traveled To Hell And Back Off The Charts In Its Enlightening, Comprehensive Analysis Of This Pervasive Yet Misunderstood Condition, The Noonday Demon Forges A Long, Brambly Path Through The Subject Of Depression Exposing All The Discordant Views And Answers Offered By Science, Philosophy, Law, Psychology, Literature, Art, And History The Result Is A Sprawling And Thoroughly Engrossing Study, Brilliantly Synthesized By Author Andrew Solomon Deceptively Simple Chapter Titles Including Breakdowns, Treatments, Addiction, Suicide Each Sit Modestly Atop A Virtual Avalanche Of Solomon S Intellect This Is Not A Book To Be Skimmed But Solomon Commands The Language And His Topic With Such Grace And Empathy That The Constant Flow Of References, Poems, And Quotations In His Paragraphs Arrive Like Welcome Dinner Guests A Longtime Sufferer Of Severe Depression Himself, Solomon Willingly Shares His Life Story With Readers He Discusses Updated Information On Various Drugs And Treatment Approaches While Detailing His Own Trials With Them He Describes A Pharmaceutical Company S Surreal Stage Production Involving Pink Floyd, Kick Dancers, And An Opener La Cats Promoting A New Antidepressant To Their Sales Team He Chronicles His Research Visits To Assorted Mental Institutions, Which Left Him Feeling He Would Much Rather Engage With Every Manner Of Private Despair Than Spend A Protracted Time There Under Solomon S Care, However, Such Tales Offer Much Than Shock Value They Show That Depression Knows No Social Boundaries, Manifests Itself Quite Differently In Each Person, And Has Become Political And, While It May Worsen Or Improve, Depression Will Never Be Eradicated Hope Lies In Finding Ways As Solomon Clearly Has To Harness Its Powerful LessonsLiane Thomas Probably the best book I have read for a long time The War and Peace of depression A compelling, comprehensive, personal, tightly written, passionate and well researched exploration of depression in all its darkness at noon dimensions I read it too fast in a few sittings, because I found it so compelling And I found huge insights in his experience even the most extreme of his experiences, because he writes like a traveler back from a largely unexplored, often denied, uncomfortable not well reported on remote region deep inside at least a third of the population or 80% of Greenland Inuit who are clinically depressedI particularly liked his insight that while much of our depression is rear ward facing about past loss and trauma there is also anxious darkness looking forward Anxiety as forward looking depression Seems obvious, but helpful And the author tried almost every imaginable way to mitigate his massive, recurring depressive mental breakdowns chemical, talking, spiritual, ECT you name he tried it Not a book for the faint hearted or for those who think that the journey deep inside the self, or deep inside other peoples horrendous depressions, is somehow self indulgent as I saw one reviewer write And of course many people could not believe he was devoting years to writing about this topic, though in private, hundreds of people opened up to supply him with incredible accounts of their experiences, despite the societal discomfort with the whole subject One of his colleagues even denied that he suffered from depression because he had such an obviously good life Yeh right. This was a good book, but I found it scholarly, less readable and harder to get through than similar books such as Peter Whybrow s A Mood Apart and Lewis Wolpert s Malignant Sadness Perhaps this is because Solomon cites a lot of philosophers He has extensive notes, but the book itself isn t footnoted you have to go to the back and sort of guess what bits in each chapter the notes are referring to That s frustrating I do, however, think this book is valuable, particularly the chapter on illicit drugs and depression unlike most people, Solomon doesn t just issue a blanket don t do it on substances but analyzes each one and what they can and can t do for depression , and his chapter on depression and poor people. If there is anything we ve learned in the addiction field, says Herbert Kleber, it s that once you get addicted it doesn t matter how you got there you have a disease with a life of its own If you treat a depressed alcoholic with an antidepressant, you produce a non depressed alcoholic Taking away the original motivation for abusing substances does not free someone who has developed a pattern of substance abuse.The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon won the 2001 National Book Award for Non Fiction Solomon is currently a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University but was not a medical professional when he wrote this blockbuster book that catapulted him into America s mental health consciousness.This book is about depression and it weighs heavily on the mind Solomon lays bare the real facts about depression but with of a message of hope and empathy than despair It is a largely a personal memoir but includes stories of many other clinically depressed people that he personally interviewed Solomon himself has depression and addictions There are a surprising number of useful and well placed observations throughout the book For example, alcoholism and drug abuse are not always related to depression Even suicide is not always related to depression Large overlaps for sure but the illnesses are often conflated.There is a section in the book about his mother s choice to end her own life She was in the late stages of ovarian cancer It is one of the most powerful chapters that I have ever read and it would be hard to imagine that anyone could read that chapter with dry eyes Solomon could have written a whole book about his mother but wisely decided to tackle a whole atlas of issues There is another section on how poverty and depression are inter related Professional psycho analysis and medications are too expensive for most but society would actually benefit economically and certainly morally if we paid for and treated those who needed psychological help For many of the unemployed, who have twice the rate of depression as the national average, it is first and foremost a mental health issue His musings on evolution and why depression is a trait that has survived genetically in so many people was intriguing Solomon tries to explain it with a king of the hill analogy Say someone attempts to overthrow win control through physical means or persuasion of a group and fails badly This results, in most of those who fail to supplant, in lower levels of serotonin The lower serotonin feels very bad to the mind and body, effectively a mini episode of depression Thus if these genes survive then these people are less likely to try that again, thereby preserving their genes for posterity and saving their life and possibly the life of the king It is not clear why there is a spectrum of depression and why there would be severe depression such that people might end their own life counteracting any benefits of the gene itself Solomon tends to believe that modern life and the increase of control might have something to do with it He gives examples of how the suicide rate amongst concentration camp survivors were higher than when they were in the camps experiencing the horrors first hand Probably the most speculative chapter but thought provoking from an evolutionary perspective Solomon is a fabulous writer and this is a powerful book and especially insightful in gaining a better understanding of those loved ones and colleagues who may suffer from depression or addiction about 1 out of every 4 persons 5 stars Highly recommended.
Andrew Solomon writes about politics, culture, and health He lives in New York and London He has written for many publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker and Artforum on topics including depression, Soviet artists, the cultural rebirth of Afghanistan, Libyan politics, and deaf culture He is also a Contributing Writer for Travel and Leisure In 2008, he was awarded the Humanita
- 576 pages
- The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
- Andrew Solomon
- 11 September 2019 Andrew Solomon