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This Close to Happy Audiobook

This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression

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Publisher's Summary

A gifted and audacious writer confronts her lifelong battle with depression and her search for release

This Close to Happy is the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression, written from a woman's perspective and informed by an acute understanding of the implications of this disease over a lifetime.

Taking off from essays on depression she has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, Daphne Merkin casts her eye back to her beginnings to try to sort out the root causes of her affliction. She recounts the travails of growing up in a large, affluent family where there was a paucity of love and basics such as food and clothing despite the presence of a chauffeur and a cook. She goes on to recount her early hospitalization for depression in poignant detail as well as her complex relationship with her mercurial, withholding mother.

Along the way Merkin also discusses her early redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. She eventually marries, has a child, and suffers severe postpartum depression, for which she is again hospitalized. Merkin also discusses her visits to various therapists and psychopharmocologists, which enable her to probe the causes of depression and its various treatments. The book ends in the present, where the writer has learned how to navigate her depression, if not "cure" it, after a third hospitalization in the wake of her mother's death.

©2017 Daphne Merkin (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Mariaposa 03-04-17
    Mariaposa 03-04-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I should be the last person to recommend this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone trying to understand what depression feels like.


    Any additional comments?

    I have always said I don't have time for depression, despite having faced a very difficult (and impoverished) childhood, followed by close calls with death (first by assault, then by disease). Let's just say I couldn't imagine having much sympathy for someone with a Park Avenue upbringing. Yet I found myself intrigued by Daphne's story and amazed at how much she is willing to reveal. I don't understand exactly why but I have ended up liking her and giving her props for getting this all down, no matter how long it took. I plan to read more pieces by her.

    I do have one problem though -- I don't think she is totally forthcoming about how much her parents footed the bill for some things, like her psychiatric hospitalizations during her 30s and it's kind of unclear if, after her father says he'll buy her an apartment if she promises to keep kosher, and she says no way, who does end up buying the 3 br apartment? I have a suspicion that although her loaded parents are stingy Daphne has that security of knowing that bottom line they are still there for her. Her situation is so different from those who are totally financially on their own. I just wish she would acknowledge that. Because not having to worry about where your next dollar is coming from provides a person with a certain freedom to make choices not available to someone who does have that worry.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kendra Grass Valley, US, Canada 02-28-17
    Kendra Grass Valley, US, Canada 02-28-17 Member Since 2017

    rootsjunkie

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    "excellent book on depression"

    loved it. as a fellow depressive it provided consolation that I'm not alone in the struggle.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jersey Man United States 02-13-17
    Jersey Man United States 02-13-17 Member Since 2016

    book man

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    "Riveting"

    Excellent book and amazing narration.
    A must for anyone has depression or who knows anyone who does.
    Powerfully written and artistically read- a very worthwhile read- I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Lafayette, CO, United States 05-22-17
    Amanda Lafayette, CO, United States 05-22-17 Member Since 2014
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    "I was unable to finis this book."

    For someone who enjoys and has studied literature & poetry perhaps, but not for me.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sudi 04-03-17
    Sudi 04-03-17

    Coffee-UFOs-Cats-Books-Halloween

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    "If You Aren't Depressed When U Start This...."

    You might get depressed, if you lean that way.

    I lean toward depression... this book echoed some of my thoughts. It is well written.

    The narrator tended to read every line as though they were dripping acid; I'm not sure Ms. Merkin wrote it that way.

    It is a useful insight into one person's eternal wrestling match with a mind that will not be calmed and cannot be tamed to any extent with medicine or therapies.

    Sometimes, though, I think if you're NOT depressed, you're not paying enough attention to life.

    This book is a good introduction to the caverns of depression for those of you who are NOT depressed but live with someone who is.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    J. D. Portnoy 03-29-17

    Bookman Old Style

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    "Enough!"

    Daphne Merkin is a good writer, a truly literary and literate person. She is also a huge pain. Although I detest the fashion for "positive thinking," as I made my way laboriously through Daphne's endless preoccupation with suicide, I heard myself saying, "Do it already!" I can only imagine how terrible a task it must be to live with someone who fantasizes about suicide day after day, year after year. Let alone to be such a person. And, of course, it's all her parents' fault, especially Mom, who after all, was only a Holocaust survivor. How could she be expected to understand real needs? But if you can tolerate the author's ceaseless, selfish preoccupation, this is a good book about depression, and the narration is very well done. Toren has a pleasant voice, a good pace and pronunciation, and makes Merkin almost bearable.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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