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Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness

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Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness

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    Available in PDF Format | Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness.pdf | English
    David A. Karp(Author)
"Even though depression has periodically made me feel that my life was not worth living, has created havoc in my family, and sometimes made the work of teaching and writing seem impossible," writes David Karp, "by some standards, I have been fortunate." Indeed, depression can be devastating, leading to family breakups, loss of employment, even suicide. And it isa national problem, with some ten to fifteen million Americans suffering from it, and the number is growing. In Speaking of Sadness, Karp captures the human face of this widespread affliction, as he illuminates his experience and that of others in a candid, searching work.
Combining a scholar's care and thoroughness with searing personal insight, Karp brings the private experience of depression into sharp relief, drawing on a remarkable series of intimate interviews with fifty depressed men and women. By turns poignant, disturbing, mordantly funny, and wise, Karp's interviews cause us to marvel at the courage of depressed people in dealing with extraordinary and debilitating pain. We hear what depression feels like, what it means to receive an "official" clinical diagnosis, and what depressed persons think of the battalion of mental health experts―doctors, nurses, social workers, sociologists, psychologists, and therapists―employed to help them. We learn the personal significance that patients attach to beginning a prescribed daily drug regimen, and their ongoing struggle to make sense of biochemical explanations and metaphors of depression as a disease. Ranging in age from their early twenties to their mid-sixties, the people Karp profiles reflect on their working lives and career aspirations, and confide strategies for overcoming paralyzing episodes of hopelessness. They reveal how depression affects their intimate relationships, and, in a separate chapter, spouses, children, parents, and friends provide their own often overlooked point of view. Throughout, Karp probes the myriad ways society contributes to widespread alienation and emotional exhaustion.
Speaking of Sadness is an important book that pierces through the terrifying isolation of depression to uncover the connections linking the depressed as they undertake their personal journeys through this very private hell. It will bring new understanding to professionals seeking to see the world as their clients do, and provide vivid insights and renewed empathy to anyone who cares for someone living with the cruel unpredictability of depression.

"The millions of people who suffer hard and long with excruciating depressions will recogise themselves in these pages....Speaking of Sadness provides an open challenge to wrestle with the difficult questions."The New York Times

4.2 (3375)
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Book details

  • PDF | 252 pages
  • David A. Karp(Author)
  • Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; New Ed edition (24 April 1997)
  • English
  • 6
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle
Read online or download a free book: Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness

Review Text

  • By Ms. S. A. Freeman on 8 May 2014

    If you or a family member or friend suffers then this is a good book to read. It doesn't offer advice, but simply documents people's individual experiences in a solid and sensible way, without falling into the trap of being too anecdotal. It reflects the different tones and shades of what it means to suffer, and makes it clear that everyone will have a different experience. Well worth having if you need/want to know more about what it may mean to experience depression.

  • By Louise on 28 March 2013

    These kind of books generally have me wanting to throw them across the room in disgust at not 'feeling better' yet. Every page of this had me wanting to read another, I could barely perform the basic day to day chores but in reading this book, I was able to feel connected to others, there are others out there that really get it and know the struggle.

  • By Ester Holte Kofod on 21 January 2014

    A sensitive and well-written personal and sociological account of the suffering of depression. Karp manages to bring the two aspects together (the first person perspective and the sociological) in a mutually enriching way. Very readable and highly recommended!

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