...and before I knew it, I was sitting in darkness, my hands tied, unable to either help myself or ask for help. This is an insidious disease, a silent killer. Kay Redfield Jamison helps to put a face on the illness by talking about it openly, honestly, and reasonably.
This book is a frank look at a phenomenon most people are afraid to discuss. Suicide is given an unwelcome place in society and so are its victims. But how are we going to prevent it if we are not willing to talk about it? Jamison manages to drive home the point that suicide and its most common cause, mental illness, are devastating and dreadful and not to be taken lightly, brushed aside, or ignored. She gives dignity to the victims she describes, sympathetically following the decline of one promising young military pilot as he succumbs to manic depression and eventually to suicide.
This book helped me to realize that without outside help, I would indeed die of my disease. It helped me to see that my disease is a separate entity from myself; that it is still true that I do not understand suicide and would never consider attempting it, but that when my disease takes over it makes all too much sense.
Hooray for Jamison with another matter-of-fact book on a topic we all need to be more open about. She is setting an example, blazing a trail, breaking new ground in the way we as a nation are going to recover from a silent disease that hurts the people who love its victims as much as the victim him/herself.
I recommend it to anyone except for the suicidally depressed and young children. Perhaps it will help the non-mentally ill to come to terms with an otherwise baffling phenomenon.
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