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Black Rainbow: How Words Healed Me - My Journey Through Depression Hardcover – 24 Apr 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Kite Books; 1st edition (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444789996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444789997
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

This book is written straight from the heart of darkness. Amazing (Ruby Wax, author of Sane New World)

Rachel Kelly has written with bracing honesty and considerable courage about her own struggles with depression. She tells of both her own travails and the solutions to them, and her book will be immensely helpful to others in like circumstances (Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree and The Noonday Demon)

A poignant and powerful description of one woman's journey through the abyss of depression, how she found solace in poetry and the inner strength to recover. This book offers hope and inspiration to anyone whose lives have been touched by mental illness (Marjorie Wallace CBE, Founder, SANE)

A revelatory read and alchemical tale of persona transformation: Kelly turns the lead of depression into the gold of emotional health. Art, in this case poetry, is movingly shown to be a royal route away from depression (Oliver James, psychologist and author of They F*** You Up)

I am utterly riveted by this book. It is completely compelling. (Isla Blair)

Outstanding ... I have never read anything so suitable for us to recommend to patients (Dr Martin Scurr)

harrowing but hopeful memoir of resistance and recovery (The Times)

Anyone touched by depression will take courage from Kelly's account; anyone else will gain a new and profoundly sympathetic understanding of the severity and arbitrariness of the disease. (The Times Magazine)

This is a moving addition to the body of depression literature, written with compassion and insight (The Observer)

a compelling and brutally honest account (Telegraph)

Kelly writes with honesty, lucidity and directness (Spectator)

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)

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 Express)

Book Description

How words healed me - my journey through depression

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Nicola on 28 April 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Heard much about this book so decided to read it for myself. Really good narrative of a women's slide into depression and how she managed to get her life back on track. I am pleased with my purchase and would buy again.
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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 Verified Purchase
A few useful tips but I don't think this would help anyone recover.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting
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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: 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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