Full disclosure: I’m someone who has struggled with severe depression for most of my life. That’s why I was instantly drawn to this book (the title is hilarious!) and why I would give it all the stars if I could! Paperny’s honesty in coming forward with her story of depression and multiple suicide attempts has inspired me to be more honest with my own family and friends about my diagnosis. Mental illnesses are left to thrive and flourish when people stay isolated and alone in their own misery.
In this part memoir/part nonfiction book, Paperny takes the reader through her journey with a mental illness that has left her in despair for many years. She so accurately describes what it feels like to be desperate and lacking a will to live that I found myself highlighting pretty much every section in her book. Her open frankness is what is needed to lessen the stigma surrounding mental disorders, and I greatly admire her ability to share painful details of her experiences dealing with psychiatric hospitals and medical staff.
Paperny’s descriptions of her own suffering would have been enough for me to love and appreciate this book on its own. But it was the in-depth research she included that will make this something I recommend to others. Despite the limitations depression has placed on her, Paperny has crafted an insightful, comprehensive look at how we as a society are failing those with mental illnesses. Because of a lack of funding, misleading drug claims, a general misunderstanding of what it means to have depression, etc., we have let down so many underserved groups of people who truly deserve help.
Living with depression can feel like you’re at the bottom of this dark cave. It’s impossible to crawl out and most of the time, people can’t even hear you if you attempt to shout up to them. I look for anything in this world that can throw even the tiniest bit of light down to me. In this case, Paperny’s book has done just that for me. It has created a space where I don’t feel as alone in this maddening, frustrating condition that consumes my life. I hope Paperny is considering writing more on this topic (perhaps with focuses on other mental health disorders) because I think people need to read her important and significant words. And because I’ll take whatever light I can get.
*Free ARC provided by NetGalley and Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review*