The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression (out of print)
Like Primo Levi's The Periodic Table, The Noonday Demon digs deep into personal history, as Andrew Solomon narrates, brilliantly and terrifyingly, his own agonising experience of depression.
Solomon also portrays the pain of others, in different cultures and societies whose lives have been shattered by depression and uncovers the historical, social, biological, chemical and medical implications of this crippling disease. He takes us through the halls of mental hospitals where some of his subjects have been imprisoned for decades; into the research labs; to the burdened and afflicted poor, rural and urban. He talks to faith healers and voyages around the world in a quest for folk wisdom. He analyses the medications of today as well as reviewing the politics of diagnosis and treatment and, perhaps most significantly, he looks at the vital role of will and love in the process of recovery.
The most affecting, intelligent, important and constructive book on depression there has ever been - a key text by a New Yorker writer who has not only experienced the depths of depression but has researched every aspect of it.
Andrew Solomon is a Cambridge-educated UK/US national in his thirties, he writes for The New Yorker and other US media. He has suffered from bouts of suicidal depression. Lives in New York, and sometimes London. Author of one novel.