Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope

Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope - Julie Hersh I received my copy of this book through Goodreads!

Depression is a formidable enemy. It doesn't show up on an x-ray or a CAT scan. No testing of blood or urine can detect it's presence. That doesn't make it any less traumatizing or deadly, just more difficult to diagnose and treat. It's like a cancer of the soul- aggressive, debilitating, painful. If caught in time, medication, counselling, and support from loved ones can help reduce it back to nothing. Not everyone can get the help they need in time and fall victim to the dark hopelessness. And there's still never a guarantee that you won't relapse even years later. Julie Hersh suffered through this disease, just one of millions around the country. Her story is like so many others in many ways. Her suffering and constant battle to find relief is shared by an increasing number, but her path to and from depression is solely her own. Her memoir of her experiences with depression shows readers who may also be battling the same condition or know someone who is that life doesn't have to end to find a release. She invites the reader into her desperate, pained mind at her worse to prove it's never hopeless, there's always a way out, you just have to find what works for you. She also takes the reader into a psychiatric ward and a treatment center, sanctuaries for the mentally unstable to gain their footing and start the journey to wellness. She gives hope and understanding and shamelessly recounts even her lowest points. The effects on her friends and family, the toll months of little sleep and nourishment took on her body, her attempts to kill herself- she doesn't sugar-coat the illness the offer one of the most honest tellings of depression I have come across.

This memoir features a depression treatment option not commonly discussed- electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. The author discusses her experiences with this controversial therapy and how it may have saved her life. After several suicide attempts, ECT was a last option for her and her family and turned out to be their saving grace. I gave this book four out of five stars and would strongly recommend it to anyone suffering from depression, but especially to anyone close to someone suffering from it. Hersh gives a very accurate account of the mentality and thought processes that go along with the illness and could help others understand when they may have never experienced it themselves.