Tuesday, August 12, 2014


If you want to read a book about depression, you can read Andrew Solomon's "Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression." It's a nearly 600-page book and National Book Award-winner that looks at depression personally, painfully and analytically.

For my dime, however, I'd pick up the great William Styron's "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness." Not only is Styron one of the 20th Century's best writers, his short volume brings you into his cloud, his anguish, his despair. It's only 96 pages. But they're 96 pages during which you might find it hard to breathe, hard to do anything but feel.

As a follow up to "Darkness Visible," you might want to read a book by Styron's daughter, Alexandra. It's called "Reading my Father: A Memoir" and it's a living, breathing chronicle of growing up with a monster in the house. A depressed monster.

In our forcibly happy-go-lucky world of advertising where we acclaim the virtues of "diversity," "inclusion," and "collaboration," there really is no room for those, who like Robin Williams, struggle with depression. We live in an HR-anesthetized universe where behaviors out of the norm are hardly tolerated.

Employee appraisals are geared to praise the easy-going and disparage the difficult.  We reward nonsense like "bridge-building." In reality, we tolerate very little.

In the wake of Robin Williams' alleged suicide, it seems half my Facebook contacts have posted some tribute or another to the man.

I wonder if they're as accepting and gracious to those in their midsts who are battling with the "darkness visible."

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