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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, moving and a lesson for everyone..., 9 April 2012
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This review is from: Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression and Recovery (Paperback)
Guardian journalist Mark Rice-Oxley seemed to have, on the face of it, a great life. Work, family, friends. However, in this brutally honest book he takes us through the 'breakdown' he experienced and his depressive illness stage by stage and we appreciate how mental illness can literally strike anyone at any time - even when you seem to have it all. Much of what he says reflects my own experience of depression and anxiety - the lethargy, hopelessness, fear and horror of it all - but it really doesn't matter whether you have 'been there' at all. It is written in a lyrical tone that oozes love for his parents, siblings, wife and children and highlights how vital it is to be open about the illness to get the support you desperately need to recover. He is writing not just for himself but to raise awareness and try and do what he can to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.

He also highlights how difficult it must be for those, unlike him (and me), who have no-one just to be there. No-one has expressed more eloquently how it feels to be mentally ill in comparison to being physically ill and how much more difficult it is to talk about depression than it is to talk about heart disease or cancer. It has taken over from the 'c' word as the new taboo. Everyone should read this. Mental illness can happen to anyone. Mark Rice-Oxley is the living proof.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Apr 2012 20:49:20 BDT
There is therapy and it can be a great resource. There is also what society could do to encourage a sense of connection. A feature of depression is the sense of isolation and dis-connection. We live a society where competition and success-in money, fame, celebrity or material possessions- are lauded. Our media, especially the newspapers thrive on the promotion of judgement and scapegoating. if we put more emphasis on co-operation and acceptance of difference, we would all benefit. Spirituality and religion, at its best, have encouraged this sense of connection between people, nature and the divine.
It is interesting and encouraging how many come through the suffering and who also come to a greater sense of compassion and connection.
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