The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Darkness Visible by William Styron The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon Prozac . Chris Cox: William Styron’s Darkness Visible remains, two decades on, a beacon of hope in this benighted realm of experience. The New York Times–bestselling memoir of crippling depression and the struggle for recovery by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Sophie’s Choice.

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It also tackled head-on the pervasive assumption that depression is ivsible down to individual weakness, particularly when it drives people to suicide. A Memoir of Madness is a memoir by American writer William Styron about his descent into depression and the triumph of recovery.

Illuminating depression

Finally facing that he could no longer ‘white knuckle’ his way through social and professional engagements, he sought assistance from a psychotherapist he called Dr. Yet, I am not unaware of the stigma brought about by confession.

View all 14 comments. I set up a meeting with my best friend at the time. These types of endings give me the most joy, because they acknowledge that though our struggles really are awful in this moment, we still have so much to styrob and to grow from in our journeys.

View all 21 comments. W Many years ago I read two powerful novels.

Darkness Visible : William Styron :

Rather than it’s downfall, the briefness of this book was perfect, as it meant that even one with difficulty concentrating could read and comprehend the text without feeling overwhelmed. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the daroness intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come – not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute.


Styron had been enormously successful in his career as a novelist and essayist, but darknses constellation of events plunged him into a melancholy from which he could not extract himself.

The father of two students with whom I had attended school throughout my life was murdered. During the trip, Styron’s mental state begins to degenerate rapidly as the depressive symptoms that he has been experiencing for several months worsen. Paradise Lost by John Milton. If you do, I’ll take you for every cent you’ve got.

Styron wrote about his experience almost lovingly. One dreads the loss of all things, all people close and dear. A wonderful, harrowing portrait of Styron’s decent into a deep depression that blindsided him at the willlam of The President of the Board had succeeded in removing two Directors preceding my taking the position.

Darkness Visible

I could taste her and the light drew me near. Through his memoir, Styron ultimately served as a liaison between people with and without depression and as a leading advocate for mental health overall.

I was and remain haunted by the eyes of the dead, particularly the eyes of dead children. Given the number of great reviews this book had, I was eager to read, especially regarding a topic I feel is extremely neglected in good literature.

Is there anything more self-destructive than depression?

He also wondered if the fact that he stopped drinking alcohol darknesz his despondency: Aug 25, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: Paperback84 pages. I write, so I suffer. A little time, you’ll feel better in no time. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow.

View all 5 comments. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day When will my order arrive? This page was last edited on 28 Octoberat But when it came time to write a suicide note, Styron struggled: Not only will you read of Styron’s thoughts on the nature of darkneas, but you will learn of mine, something that I struggled to hide for many years, quite successfully, until, I, visuble, slid off the edge of the world in much the same fashion as did Styron.


Styron’s honesty gives his memoir a sheer truthfulness, as his attention to detail and self-analysis make his story feel even more painful vksible real. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn’t shake off a sense of melodrama — a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor darknesx lone member of the audience.

Although our office had an on-call system, Investigators usually called me. I was especially impressed with his description of his hospital stay. We can thank daughter Alexandra for that information. So perhaps I was primed to be moved by Styron’s strangely luminous description of being smothered by depression; but its appeal is by no means limited to those with firsthand experience.

Call it a nervous break down. It also angers me that many people assume the two visibe of my life depend on each other: