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The Happy Depressive
on 23 January 2012
What is happiness? That's the question Alastair Campbell tries to answer in this searingly honest account of living with depression.
Yes, the politics and policies that can contribute to our happiness are examined, but the most moving sections are his personal battles with the down days.
It's hard not to read the part about his breakdown, without tears. The picture of this strong, clever man, reduced to piling his possessions on the floor, and being arrested, is heart-wrenching.
As Tony Blair's Director of Communications, he was a formidable figure in British politics. You may like him or loathe him. But few would deny that it takes huge guts to admit things like his battle with alcohol.
The methods for coping are in here too -- with an acknowledgment that they're not always foolproof.
And he writes openly about the nature of friendship and family, including the death of close friends, that will make you think carefully about what and whom you value in your life.
I was reading it on a grim, grey, wet January morning. When I finished, I looked out the window, and a patch of blue had appeared. Read this, it will make you think, and be happier.