The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery

The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery

by Mary Cregan

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Overview

A graceful and penetrating memoir interweaving the author’s descent into depression with a medical and cultural history of this illness.

At the age of twenty-seven, married, living in New York, and working in book design, Mary Cregan gives birth to her first child, a daughter she names Anna. But it’s apparent that something is terribly wrong, and two days later, Anna dies—plunging Cregan into suicidal despair.

Decades later, sustained by her work, a second marriage, and a son, Cregan reflects on this pivotal experience and attempts to make sense of it. She weaves together literature and research with details from her own ordeal—and the still visible scar of her suicide attempt—while also considering her life as part of the larger history of our understanding of depression. In fearless, candid prose, Cregan examines her psychotherapy alongside early treatments of melancholia, weighs the benefits of shock treatment against its terrifying pop culture depictions, explores the controversy around antidepressants and how little we know about them—even as she acknowledges that the medication saved her life—and sifts through the history of the hospital where her recovery began.

Perceptive, intimate, and elegantly written, The Scar vividly depicts the pain and ongoing stigma of clinical depression, giving greater insight into its management and offering hope for those who are suffering.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324001720
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/19/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 254,224
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mary Cregan attended Middlebury College and received her PhD from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education and in the Financial Times. A lecturer in English literature at Barnard College, she lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 What Happened 1

2 What Happened Next 30

3 How to Save a Life 64

4 The Paradise of Bedlams 97

5 Where Do the Dead Go? 133

6 Early Blues 163

7 The Promise of Prozac 194

8 No Feeling Is Final 232

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 251

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