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This Close to Happy
This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression | Daphne Merkin
12 posts | 7 read | 1 reading | 35 to read
A gifted and audacious writer confronts her lifelong battle with depression and her search for release This Close to Happy is the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression, written from a womans perspective and informed by an acute understanding of the implications of this disease over a lifetime. Taking off from essays on depression she has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, Daphne Merkin casts her eye back to her beginnings to try to sort out the root causes of her affliction. She recounts the travails of growing up in a large, affluent family where there was a paucity of love and of basics such as food and clothing despite the presence of a chauffeur and a cook. She goes on to recount her early hospitalization for depression in poignant detail, as well as her complex relationship with her mercurial, withholding mother. Along the way Merkin also discusses her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. She eventually marries, has a child, and suffers severe postpartum depression, for which she is again hospitalized. Merkin also discusses her visits to various therapists and psychopharmocologists, which enables her to probe the causes of depression and its various treatments. The book ends in the present, where the writer has learned how to navigate her depression, if not cure it, after a third hospitalization in the wake of her mothers death.
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A bit depressing for the #happy tag but this is another from my tbr.

OriginalCyn620 ❤️❤️❤️ 7mo
34 likes1 comment
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“One of the most intolerable aspects of depression is the way it insinuates itself everywhere in your life, casting a pall not only over the present, but the past and future as well, suggesting nothing but its own inevitability.”

farrahkohn Thanks @BridgetteM - I love to read, love Instagram, and despise Amazon, so this seemed like a good fit! (edited) 12mo
Lauram Welcome 12mo
See All 12 Comments
farrahkohn @Lauram thanks! Glad to be here! 12mo
DarcysMom Welcome to Litsy! 🤩 12mo
farrahkohn @DarcysMom thanks! 12mo
RaimeyGallant Yes! And welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. Or if you prefer how-to videos, @chelleo put some together at the link in her bio. 12mo
farrahkohn @RaimeyGallant thanks! I read the tips on your blog, and may check out the video too! 12mo
ValkyrieAndHerBooks Welcome to Litsy 🎉📚💕 12mo
ProfReader Welcome to Litsy!!📚📖💜💛💙 12mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🌺 11mo
15 likes12 comments
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Walking out of the library this morning an elderly man gawped at my stack and said, "Boy! Quite a few books you got there!" He should have seen what I walked out with yesterday. ??? #librarylove #ALLthebooks #littensunderstand

Notafraidofwords Loved your tagged book! 2y
Cinfhen 😂😂😂 2y
Chelsibeau This made me smile! I start to think the people at the library think I‘m stalking them because I am there so much! 2y
Suet624 ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
74 likes4 comments

"You can no longer figure out what it is that moves other people to bustle about out there in the world, doing errands, rushing to appointments, picking up a child from school. You have lost the thread that pulled the circumstances of your life together. Nothing adds up, and all you can think about is the raw nerve of pain that your mind has become. And, once again, how merciful it would be to yourself and others to extinguish this pain."

mrozzz 😭 have to read this ASAP 2y
24 likes1 comment
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Ok everybody: I broke again. I'm not ashamed. Depression has been dogging me all month as the sun sets earlier and I have this anxiety that I'm running out of time... stress at work contributed to feelings of worthlessness and I dragged myself go to the bookstore (in the dark) as soon as the work week was over. Was going to buy more but kept it to 3- including the Daphne Merkin which I hope will give me some perspective on my own mental health. 💜

MicheleinPhilly ❤️❤️❤️I've been there more times than I can count. If it brings you even one step closer to equilibrium, it's all good. ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
TrishB Hope it's helped ❤ 2y
Balibee146 Yeah also hope it helps... Nowt wrong with a bit of self care. Been there, hope things feel a bit easier soon xx 2y
See All 28 Comments
heikemarie You are wonderful and enough. You earned those books and then some! 2y
Notafraidofwords I totally understand. Merkin will help. If you want to hear me talk about the book, check out the Reading Envy podcast I did with @ReadingEnvy 2y
DarcysMom 💜💛💚💙❤ 2y
ReadingEnvy I just got the Erpenbeck yesterday too. 2y
Yellowpigeon I understand. Hope these help 2y
Bklover Hope you are feeling better soon. 🌺🌸🌺🌸 2y
Redwritinghood Hope you feel better soon. The shorter days often get me down too. 2y
mrozzz You are all amazing. One day at a time, one (or five) books at a time 💜💜💜💜 just breathing and reading @Bklover @TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @DarcysMom @Redwritinghood @Yellowpigeon I know many of you understand. One part of why I love Litsy 2y
mrozzz @inwhichHeikereadsharder so sweet 💗 thank you! 2y
mrozzz @Notafraidofwords @ReadingEnvy I'll have to check it out for sure. Erpenbeck seemed intriguing, also trying to read more non-American authors 2y
TheBookStacker Sometimes you just need to treat yourself to some self love therapy aka books! Find your happy in the little things, one step/book at a time. 2y
Reggie Everything you said right now would make a person go binge eat, or binge drink, or go back on coke or get that hit, but you went and bought books. That in itself is amazing. Hope you feel better. 2y
mrozzz @TheBookStacker thank you! I am. Breaking all previous records this month (buying and reading) at least I have that and it's something 💗 2y
mrozzz @Reggie it's so true. I don't even realize how well I'm doing until I see a comment like yours. Being high-functioning becomes its own burden... But you're right, gonna pat myself on the back and keep pushing (and reading) 2y
[DELETED] 206653737 I agree with @TheBookStacker very well put! 2y
AmandaL 💜 2y
Suet624 Oh, I'm so sorry - I get that feeling too when the dark comes earlier in the day and the weather starts to get cold. Cuddle up with some candles and a blanket and enjoy those books. 💕💕💕 2y
cobwebmoth Hugs! 2y
mrozzz @Suet624 candles ✔️ books ✔️✔️✔️ I'm holding on. My friend just got a puppy and I get to spend a lot of time with him so that helps too 2y
mrozzz @cobwebmoth thank you 💜 2y
Suet624 I'm glad. Seriously, puppies, books and candles are a lifesaver. 2y
mrozzz @Suet624 they totally are. When I can afford it I need to seriously get my own dog and certify is as a therapy animal 2y
kspenmoll Changing of seasons is so difficult. Sounds like wonderful advice from so many Littens here. Enjoy the puppy outdoors as much as you can! I have a friend who has a therapy dog & he is so in tune with people. ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
mrozzz @kspenmoll yes I am very thankful for everyone showing support here, it's why I came out and said what I did because I thought many people might relate. I can't wait to have my own dog.... 2y
70 likes28 comments
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Apparently blue books are the order of this #independentbookstoreday! Stop #4 led to an edition of Dracula that I do not yet own (WHAT?) and a beautiful memoir (I bought nonfiction - WHAT?). A surprise Blind Date with a Book with ARCs subbed in for the last stop. Onward! @RavenRenegade


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What can I say about this book that utterly consumed me?

This book is a gift by Daphne Merkin. It's sold as a memoir, but it's really a collection of essays on her life with depression. Think The Bell Jar + terrible child + raw + unflinching honesty.

It's dark. It's raw. It's composed. It's devastating.

Yet, in the weeks of reading it, I've not once felt alone in my own body. It's a gift to leave all tears and frustration unto a book.

valeriegeary Nice review! 3y
Paula3 💚💙💜 3y
minkyb Beautifully stated. 3y
Notafraidofwords @minkyb thanks you ❤️ 3y
118 likes15 stack adds5 comments
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I opened this with my coffee and subsequently spent the entire morning wrapped up in the warm spell of this book. "...despair has a light all its own, a lunar glow, the color of mottled silver," she writes in the introduction, both so true and so truthfully expressed. ❤️ this book.

30 likes1 stack add

But just imagine trying to tell the truth about how you feel at an upscale social gathering...
"How are you?"
"Not fine. Very depressed, in fact. Can barely get out of bed. Have no idea what's happening in the world lately and don't much care."
Who wants to hear it? Has ever wanted to hear it? Will ever want to hear it?

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A real raw look at what suffering from depression is really like.She describes her daily life
when all is well she is enjoying her writing functioning in her daily routines&the cloud descends.An intimate look at the pain .For those of us lucky to not suffer from depression this will give you compassion for those who do.I have just started this book &My heart aches for her,

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Started this last night, for interview and possible review. Really good so far; interested to see how that is sustained over 256 pages. I'm optimistic.