My precious signed copy
My Thoughts & Review
*As a fellow sufferer from depression, I found this book very helpful and interesting. I’ve already read it twice now and still find parts that are helpful to me. The success and popularity of this book illustrates just how much a book about the subject was needed.
Thankfully, the subject of depression is discussed much more openly these days, although it’s still a subject of debate on how a diagnosis of depression can impact on the sufferer’s career choices and the reactions from loved ones (as mentioned in the book) can vary. There is still a lot of ignorance out there.
The book is a very brave and honest account of how the author Matt Haig lived with his anxiety and depression, coped somehow and healed. It’s an important book about the subject without actually being a self-help book as such.
The first part of the book is Matt’s very brave first hand account of how he suddenly spiralled into an acute depression that sounds so terrifying that it really is a wonder that he survived. The rest of the book is about how he slowly healed and what helped him through this very difficult time in his life.
Full of self-deprecation, dark humour and insightful observations into depression and anxiety. There are quotes about depression, lists of famous people who were sufferers and helpful advice without any preachiness. There’s never any suggestion that fellow sufferers should do what he’s done. Matt acknowledges that every sufferer is different and this account is what actually helped him but the book as a whole should be helpful to many.
There are statistics about male suicides that are disturbing.
I could quote multiple passages from this book but I’d seriously be at risk for copyright theft!
If you or anyone you know suffers from depression, this book could really help.From being too afraid to leave his home to go to a corner shop, Matt did eventually manage, with the help of his supportive family and wife, to turn his life around and cope once again. The book is his journey back from the utter hell of a dark depression and the associated anxiety.
The title comes from him asking people on Twitter to list reasons for staying alive
Apart from taking up running, one of the activities that helped with Matt’s depression, is for him to face his fears and do things that are out of his comfort zone such as attending book festivals and events (globally) and mixing with literary types. I actually met him at a literary festival, the North Cornwall Literary Festival where he signed two books and spoke to me in a very down to earth natural manner. As a frequent wheelchair user this seldom happens as people tend to act very oddly around me. Either patronising, overly friendly or just plain weird! I was also doing something way out of my comfort zone by forcing myself to go and mix with people in an unfamiliar environment. My husband Author stalked him and brought Matt over to me. I’d never have approached him on my own!
Matt’s very interesting and entertaining interview at the festival with another author was about his latest book How To Stop Time.
My overall impression of him was that he was a very down to earth, kind and likeable young man and I’m looking forward to reading his other books. Highly recommended
*As a fellow sufferer of depression, I was going to post a review of this book on Mental Health Awareness day, but ironically my own anxiety got the better of me and I didn’t feel that my review would be good enough and I wouldn’t be able do this great book justice. It was something that was too important and I lost my nerve and just RT’d other posts instead.I’ve only recently come out into the open, so to speak and admit that I suffer from depression. Until I admitted in my ‘About’ section that I suffered from depression, only very close friends and family were aware that I was a sufferer. It still makes me cringe now when I read my admission in writing and I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. My depression started when I became ill at the start of the chronic disease/illness I have now and was unable to carry on with my lengthy nursing career, a career that I loved, but with hindsight I think I’ve long had anxiety problems. Giving up that career was very hard. I’ve since learned that one of the many symptoms or effects of my illness (RA) is that it can cause depression in those with the illness for a variety of reasons. It can be the grief for the life you once had and the plans that have to be shelved. It’s life limiting.
Depression though can strike anyone at any time, at any age and without rhyme or reason. That can be absolutely crippling and can have enormous impact on people’s lives. It can be as a result of something traumatic as a reactive depression or can just happen completely out of the blue.
About Matt Haig
Matt Haig is a British author for children and adults. His memoir Reasons to Stay Alive was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks. His children’s book A Boy Called Christmas was a runaway hit and is translated in over 25 languages. It is being made into a film by Studio Canal and The Guardian called it an ‘instant classic’. His novels for adults include the award-winning The Radleys and The Humans.
He won the TV Book Club ‘book of the series’, and has been shortlisted for a Specsavers National Book Award. The Humans was chosen as a World Book Night title. His children’s novels have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Blue Peter Book of the Year, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal three times.
His books have received praise from Neil Gaiman, Stephen Fry, Jeanette Winterson, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Ian Rankin and SJ Watson, among others. The Guardian summed up his writing as ‘funny, clever and quite, quite lovely’ by The Times and the New York Times called him ‘a writer of great talent’.