DARKNESS VISIBLE STYRON PDF

A few months later, he released the essay as a book, augmenting the article with a recollection of when the illness first took hold of him: in Paris, as he was about to accept the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca, the French literary award. He also exposed the inadequacy of the word itself, which is still used interchangeably to describe a case of the blues, rather than the tempestuous agony sufferers know too well. Depression is notoriously hard to describe, but Styron managed to split the atom. It may be more accurate to say that despair… comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room.

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A few months later, he released the essay as a book, augmenting the article with a recollection of when the illness first took hold of him: in Paris, as he was about to accept the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca, the French literary award. He also exposed the inadequacy of the word itself, which is still used interchangeably to describe a case of the blues, rather than the tempestuous agony sufferers know too well.

Depression is notoriously hard to describe, but Styron managed to split the atom. It may be more accurate to say that despair… comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron As brutal as depression can be, one of the main ways a person can restrain it is through solidarity.

You are not alone, Styron reminded his readers, and the fog will lift. Patience is paramount. But in many ways, Darkness Visible was the culmination of a lifetime spent grappling with the meaning of sorrow.

In Lie Down in Darkness, which explores the pride and guilt of the Deep South, the pain is shared among a grieving family. In addition to the solace of recognition the book lent to its readers, it helped crack the stigma behind the condition. Sufferers today can turn to a wide body of personal writing on the subject, and a long line of public figures—from Mike Wallace to Brooke Shields—have spoken to the press about battling the illness.

He was determined, however, that his own misfortune not tarnish the hope of the readers he had encouraged. Fearing he might take his own life a fear, thankfully, never realized , Styron composed the following note: I hope that readers of Darkness Visible—past, present and future—will not be discouraged by the manner of my dying… Everyone must keep up the struggle, for it is always likely that you will win the battle and nearly a certainty you will win the war.

To all of you, sufferers and non-sufferers alike, I send my abiding love. It is a testament to his stamina that, fending off the darkness yet again, he had the presence of mind to reassure his readers in the event of catastrophe. His career is a lesson in wringing dignity out of hardship. He falls asleep in the sand and is greeted by terrifying visions, only to rise the next morning to the hopeful sounds of children and the brilliance of the early morning sky.

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Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

He tentatively concludes that his depression was brought about by his sudden withdrawal from years of alcoholism and exacerbated by his overdependence on Halcion , a prescription drug that he took to treat insomnia. As his depression becomes more severe, Styron seeks multiple treatment methods, including psychotherapy , consulting with a psychiatrist , and countless antidepressants , but to no avail. Initially, Styron is able to function better in the morning than in the afternoon and evening, but he soon struggles to even get out of bed. He eventually loses the ability to perform basic tasks such as driving and often contemplates suicide. He is suddenly repulsed at the idea of suicide and is compelled to eliminate his depression once and for all. The following day, Styron checks himself into a hospital, which he had previously avoided on the advice of his psychiatrist, who harbors a strong opposition to institutional treatment. It is ultimately at the hospital that Styron finally emerges from his depression and eventually makes a full recovery.

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