Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Depression in the First Person

Book - 2019
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Award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny's stunning memoir chronicles with courageous honesty and uncommon eloquence her experience of depression and her quest to explore what we know and don't know about this disease that afflicts almost a fifth of the population--providing an invaluable guide to a system struggling to find solutions. As fascinating as it is heartrending, as outrageously funny as it is serious, it is a must-read for anyone impacted by depression--and that's pretty much everybody. Depression is a havoc-wreaking illness that masquerades as personal failing and hijacks your life. After a major suicide attempt in her early twenties, Anna Mehler Paperny resolved to put her reporter's skills to use to get to know her enemy, setting off on a journey to understand her condition, the dizzying array of medical treatments on offer and a medical profession in search of answers. Charting the way depression wrecks so many, she maps competing schools of therapy, pharmacology, cutting-edge medicine, the pill-popping pitfalls of long-term treatment, the glaring unknowns and the institutional shortcomings that both patients and practitioners are up against. She interviews leading medical experts across Canada and the US, from psychiatrists to neurologists, brain-mapping pioneers to family practitioners, and others dabbling in strange hypotheses--and shares compassionate conversations with fellow sufferers. Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me tracks Anna's quest for knowledge and her desire to get well. Impeccably reported, it is a profoundly compelling story about the human spirit and the myriad ways we treat (and fail to treat) the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world.
Publisher: Toronto :, Random House Canada,, 2019
ISBN: 9780735272828
0735272824
Branch Call Number: 616.8527 Pap
Characteristics: xiv, 338 pages

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Hillsboro_ChrisK Nov 30, 2019

This is a stunning book. Canadian journalist Paperny might have seemed “normal” to you. Maybe a bit anxious and driven, but not out of the ordinary. Inside, though, depression dominated her life. Paperny’s book is a look into the mind and soul of someone who is suicidally depressed that can only be described as unflinching. She walks us through her experience leading up to her suicide attempts, her treatment This earnest exploration examines depression and suicide from the outside as well as the inside. As a journalist, she really digs into the subject to present the research and how that research affects people in real life. Along the way, we get a very nuanced understanding of why someone would feel compelled to kill themselves. She also reports on how the mental health systems of both the US and Canada grapple with the problem (spoiler: not very well) and examines how many factors (race, culture, gender) can make a bad situation worse.

Considering that the weight of the topic could be, you know, a depressing bummer, this book never feels like a homework assignment. Paperny’s engaging style and deeply revealing writing invites us to approach mental illness with compassion and curiosity.

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Yaelle
Nov 17, 2019

A devastating story. Brilliantly written!

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