LITERATURE

Reasons To Stay Alive

Penguin. Feb. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780143128724. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780143128731. MEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarDepression first struck British novelist Haig while he was working on the sunny island of Ibiza. Such a fact is indicative of how uncontrollable the disorder can be. This point is one the author makes throughout the book, and it is refreshing: depression isn't your fault, any more than cancer or Alzheimer's is. Also refreshing is Haig's attention to discussing what depression feels like rather than defining its symptoms. Partially this is because the experience varies from person to person. With help from his family and information he discovered in books, the author eventually lifts himself up from his sadness. However, he is careful to mention that it has never quite gone away and probably never will.
VERDICT Haig's inspiring account is an essential read for anyone who has suffered from depression, or knows someone who has. It should lead to a greater understanding of the illness.

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