The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery

The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery Review

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.

Title:The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery
Edition Language:English

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    The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery Reviews

  • Caoilinn

    THE SCAR has had a more profound influence on me than any book I've read in years. In its humanity and resolve, its depth and precision, its scientific rigour and personal candour, this book is deeply...

  • Abigail Higgins

    Narrative non-fiction is not a genre in which I read heavily. However, after receiving a copy of this work through a Goodreads giveaway, I decided to work my way through it, and by the end of this mem...

  • Judy G

    First this book is definitely not for everyone. Mary Cregan tells her readers about her life of 20+ y with Depression and melancholia and attempted suicides and medications and psychiatric hospitaliza...

  • Davood Gozli

    Mary Cregan explores depression from multiple perspectives: personal, cultural, medical, and historical. The personal account is honest and engaging, while the less personal ("objective") account is f...

  • Nancy

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.This is an honest memoir of the struggle of living with depression. ...

  • Adele

    Well researched and written--Cregan's story sheds light on a difficult subject. A fresh take on treatment options and depression itself. I liked her remarks on melancholia, a term not often referred t...

  • Kathleen M.

    This excellent book is for anyone who lives with depression or knows someone who does, which is likely all of us. Mary Cregan writes beautifully about her own life and intersperses her personal story ...

  • Jess Rice

    As a person who suffered a miscarriage and deals with depression daily this was a really great eye opener. Got really good resources and great information that you don't realize that's out their for y...

  • Delphi Library

    Mary Cregan is 27 years old and living in New York. She has a fulfilling career as a book designer and is happily married with her first baby on the way. When her daughter is born, she names her Anna,...

  • Amanda

    I was on the fence between three and four stars with this one because the digressions into the history of psychiatry/mental health care/etc. that cropped up would take me out of the memoir. Then I rea...