A person suffering from depression does not choose “how” to be depressed. The feeling simply comes in like a tide, washing your vision with a filter that renders everything you see not quite clear — Styron’s locked room again. But once you have lived with depression, one indeed has to choose “how” to live it. Scialabba chose a particular path, selecting relatively routine jobs and maintaining his literary life. Regular teaching or academic scholarship was, it seems, too much.
The book ends with Scialabba’s own advice for depressives. In contrast to the political and economic themes set forth in the earlier sections and the clinical diagnoses of the documentia, this last chapter is personal, with deeply compassionate advice both to the suffering and those who live with and care for them. Friends, food, water, rest, exercise, caregivers, and reading are ways to take control, and if all else seems lost, remember what he calls a truth “close to a scientific certainty; depressions virtually always end.”
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor