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Black Rainbow: How words healed me: my journey through depression by [Kelly, Rachel]
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Black Rainbow: How words healed me: my journey through depression Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Length: 369 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

It's a book we should all read, especially women, and especially those of us who have, like me, had their own struggles with what Winston Churchill (another sufferer) called the Black Dog... Women, especially those with new babies, exhausted from pregnancy, sleepless nights and the sheer shock of motherhood, are often consumed with fear bordering on terror. That's what depression is, and if it applies to you or your daughter, take heart. Help is available. And it will help to read Rachel Kelly's Black Rainbow (Judy Finnigan Daily Mail)

The memoir has the gripping immediacy of a novel and taught me much about depression that perhaps I should have known, but didn't. Its advice on diet, exercise, supplements and getting help will be invaluable for anyone who finds themselves barked at by the black dog. (Bel Mooney Daily Mail)

Book Description

How words healed me - my journey through depression

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 832 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444789996
  • Publisher: Yellow Kite (24 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GIUGTUG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,678 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
This book is not 'just' a book about clinical depression, although the suffering Rachel Kelly experienced as a result of two bouts spanning 16 years is eloquently and heartbreakingly retold as if it were yesterday. What makes this book unique is Kelly's ability to show how societal pressures to be a high achiever - at work and at home - and to be a good mother (particularly to be a good mother), combined with her striving character, in the end made it impossible for her to carry on. She went from wanting to be good at everything to not managing to get up in the morning, crippled by pain and driven almost mad by despair.
There is a message in this breathtakingly honest and well written book (it reads like a gripping novel for those who like a page turner). It speaks to all of us. We women often drive ourselves too hard; we expect too much of ourselves; we need to learn that the world will accept us whoever we are, whatever we achieve. Our daughters need to hear that they can be who they want to be from a young age.
Rachel Kelly learned the hard way. What she hopes to achieve from this beautiful book is to spare the rest of us from the painful journey. And for that, at the very very least, we must be profoundly grateful.
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Format: Hardcover
Rachel Kelly's account of her 19 year depression, and how poetry, love, cognitive behaviour therapy and pills help her survive is beautifully written and sobering. Like Andrew Solomon, whose own book The Noonday Demon, should be read in tandem with this it shows how even the most blessed and loved can be suddenly undone by mental collapse. Kelly's physical agony as she re-lives a near plane-crash over and over, paralysing her with fear, is one of the surprises of this book about mental torment. She describes her own way out with painful honesty, but clearly remains fragile.

Depression is a common affliction yet remains stigmatised, especially among the successful. It is a genuine illness, and as crippling as a broken leg or cancer. Black Rainbows is another step forward into bringing it into the light of day.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well written - I was amazed by the writer's recall. Having suffered three serious bouts of depression my self my memory was not as proficient.

I learnt a lot from this book, admired the writer, could overlook the privileged background that gave her the level of support most of us can only dream of but...

Where Rachel lost me (and I'm sorry Rachel) was the incessant child bearing. It was obvious that post-natal depression was a huge part of the story and yet the author willingly undertook yet another pregnancy in the full knowlege that this could trigger a severe depressive episode. From what I remember of my own sufferings which were acute there is no way in hell I would have done anything that might have been likely to bring on another episode and I couldn't help thinking that Rachel was only able to play Russian Roulette because she had a saintly husband and mother. Sorry, but I found this intensely selfish.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Depression is no respecter of status, privilege, brains, education or beauty. Rachel Kelly has them all, but still depression darkly dogs her footsteps, for what she also has in common with many other sufferers is hyper-sensitivity and an overwhelming desire to please. It is above all the latter that causes depressives to over-extend themselves in their desperate quests for approval until eventually they break down, emotionally and physically exhausted by their exertion having exceeded their energy.
Black Rainbow is an extraordinary book. Unflinchingly honest, courageous, eloquent and ultimately optimistic, it describes Kelly’s rapid descent into the hell of clinical depression and how she finally managed to claw her way out of the pit with the help of doctors, therapists, her family and poetry. As a journalist, Kelly relishes well-used words, and gives a detailed account of how the forty poems included in the book helped her in the process of renaissance from a state in which she could only lie in bed and scream, to that of a functioning writer, mother and wife with bushels of new-found wisdom to apply to living with her condition. ‘I still have a black dog,’ she reflects, ‘but I’ve got it on a tight lead’.
The book is about creativity, adoration, respect, courage, wisdom and words. Kelly’s husband deserves accolades for his steadfast bravery, faith and love and her children have also been superbly courageous. The bravery of Kelly herself though, not only in living with the illness but also, given her condition, in writing the book and taking her poetic philosophy into the field through workshops with depressed people and prisoners, surpasses it all.
If you or anyone you know or love is or has ever been depressed, read this book. If you ever feel anxious, read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've got halfway through this book and I cannot read any further.
It's well written and a good accurate account of depression but the author is intensely unlikable. I understand that this is a personal issue and not one that other reviewers have found, there are plenty of 5 star reviews.
The author is extremely privileged to an unbelievable degree, not only in wealth, background and education but also in her incredibly supportive, seemingly endless, stream of family, friends, psychiatrists, nanny's, employers, au pairs... which is hardly grounds for disliking her but I think if I had read this when I was mid my post natal depression it would have made me feel an awful lot worse.
However being in this fortunate position seemed to give Rachel the chance to deeply analyse each feeling and aspect of her depression to a fascinating degree, and it's clear that she was very unwell, it was just unbearably irritating for me to read and some of her behaviour was very indulgent and I just couldn't identify or empathise with her, which is a shame because I would have liked to warm to her more.
It's very possible that things improve in the latter half of the book, and that the above issues are mine alone, but I would have hated to read this when I was unwell so I thought it was worth adding my review.
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