Sunday 19 November 2017

Marian's descriptions of her state of mind all too familiar

Suffering the trials of severe depression 15 years ago was the worst experience of Professor Lewis Wolpert's life

Professor Lewis Wolpert

IUSED to belong to the "sock" school when it came to dealing with mild depression -- just pull them up and get on with things. But when I experienced severe depression myself, I entered a new world, the same one inhabited by the bestselling author Marian Keyes, 46, a former alcoholic who tried to commit suicide when she was 30 years old.

Earlier this month, she wrote on her website about her "crippling depression" and how it has made her feel, not for the first time, as though she were "living in Hell". Her description of depression is typical and upsets me. I know she is not exaggerating.

When I entered a state of severe depression 15 years ago, for reasons I still cannot fathom, it was the worst experience of my life. All I wanted was to kill myself, despite being happily married and having a fine job at University College, London. I was having relatively minor heart problems, but life felt good. Then it struck -- a condition not to be confused with mild depression or "feeling low". If you can describe your severe depression, you have never, in fact, experienced it.

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