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Download Where the Roots Reach for Water: A Personal Natural History of Melancholia ePub

by Jeffery Smith

Download Where the Roots Reach for Water: A Personal  Natural History of Melancholia ePub
  • ISBN 0756754399
  • ISBN13 978-0756754396
  • Language English
  • Author Jeffery Smith
  • Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux (January 1, 1999)
  • Pages 292
  • Formats lrf rtf lit azw
  • Category Biography
  • Subcategory Professionals and Academics
  • Size ePub 1620 kb
  • Size Fb2 1297 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 802

Jeffery Smith was into his 8th year as a psychiatric case manager when his own struggles with clinical depression began. Eventually, all his prescribed antidepressant medications proved ineffective. He describes what happened after he decided to give them up, & sets out to get at the essence of -- using the old term for depression -- melancholia. Provides us with a "natural history" of this ancient illness. Draws on centuries of art, writing, & med. treatises inspired by the illness & its near kin, the melancholic temperament. Tells numerous instructive stories of people who fitted their lives to melancholia before the advent of modern drugs & therapies. "A provocative & highly original memoir."

And anyone looking for insight into the experience of depression will find both a historical and a personal, individual perspective on the condition. 17 people found this helpful.

Weaving the history of melancholia with intimate personal narrative and rapturous nature writing, Smith constructs a rich landscape of depression. Fascinating even for those who do not suffer from the disease, the book is - if you will excuse the word - inspirational for those who do suffer from depression. And anyone looking for insight into the experience of depression will find both a historical and a personal, individual perspective on the condition.

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Jeffery Smith was living in Missoula, Montana, working as a psychiatric case manager when his own clinical depression began. Eventually, all his prescribed antidepressant medications proved ineffective

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A Personal and Natural History of Melancholia. PEN Literary Award Winner. Deftly woven into his "personal history" is a "natural history" of this ancient illness.

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Manufacturer: North Point Press Release date: 15 February 2001 ISBN-10 : 086547592X ISBN-13: 9780865475922. Separate tags with commas, spaces are allowed. Use tags to describe a product . for a movie Themes heist, drugs, kidnapping, coming of age Genre drama, parody, sci-fi, comedy Locations paris, submarine, new york.

Talk about Where the Roots Reach for Water: A Personal Natural History of Melancholia


Survivors
As a depressive who has been on antidepressants for four years, I felt it was time to begin researching about this condition. I read at least a half dozen books, such as William Styron's memoirs, Richard O'Connor's self-help book, Joseph Glenmullen's anti-drug "Prozac Backlash," Kathy Kronkite's collection of conversations with famous depressives, and Andrew Solomon's excellent and comprehensive work "Noonday Demon." Jeffery Smith's book, "Where the Roots Reach for Water," is by far my favorite.
Weaving the history of melancholia with intimate personal narrative and rapturous nature writing, Smith constructs a rich landscape of depression. Fascinating even for those who do not suffer from the disease, the book is -- if you will excuse the word -- inspirational for those who do suffer from depression. Since antidepressant drugs do not work for Smith, he has to find a way to accomodate depression into his life.
"What does your depression want from you?" his therapist asks. Your depression isn't going anywhere. Even if you are currently in remission, it's likely to recur. So what does it want from you -- what do you need to do in order to live with it?
This question is profound, and Smith doesn't answer right away. Nor does he give a how-to list of steps to take to overcome depression. Indeed, the point of the book is that depression isn't something to be overcome, because that task may prove to be impossible. It is something you learn how to cope with, and even how to live your life fully and joyfully despite -- or perhaps in concert with -- your depression.
Who would want to read this book? Nature lovers will delight in the beautiful and sometimes surprising descriptions of landscapes. Historians who are interested in the evolution of "melancholia" into "depression" will find a very readable and entertaining overview. And anyone looking for insight into the experience of depression will find both a historical and a personal, individual perspective on the condition.
Rose Of Winds
I stumbled across this book at my local independent bookstore, picking it up in my continuing effort to understand what happened between me and a man whom I love very much. It is indeed beautifully written, as other reviewers say, and it was extremely useful in helping me understand what he has been struggling with for probably 35 years. He had tried to tell me some of this, but it was too hard. I would like to thank the author for this enormous gift to those of us who want to understand what melancholia feels like. Having read this book thoughtfully, and taken some time to absorb it, I'm about ready to try our relationship again.
I'm at Amazon now ordering a copy for my family doctor and a copy to use as my "loaner" for friends. This is a very valuable book -- I expect to be rereading parts of it from time to time.
Runeterror
I think this has been one of the touching books I have ever read. My friend of 4 years just drifted away from me in his own bout of depression. The storm rolled in quickly and slowly. I don't know how to explain it, and he doesn't either.
Jeffery's book helped me to understand. And for that I am forever grateful. I pray that he comes through the other side.
Touching, saddening, inspiring. You must read this if someone you love is going through this.
I would love to thank the author. Maybe he will check these comments.

UPDATE... I went to a chiropractor for the first time this year for other reasons. I had been going through what I thought must have been Seasonal Affective Disorder because it was winter. Kind of blue and crying for about two weeks. He adjusted my neck, euphoric rush and never felt that way since. Your happy hormones can get pinched off...
Snowskin
With prose that is always lucid, and often lyrical, Jeffrey Smith describes his attempt to integrate his depression into his life as a whole. To this reader, some of his survival strategies seem wrong-headed: he time and again seeks solace in the wilderness (rarely finding it), his choice of pet is all wrong (trade in the skittish cat for a german shepherd puppy), and his chosen work (with the halt and the lame) couldn't be more depressing.
That said, his natural history of melancholia will provide a tonic for many a reader. He's dug up some fascinating insights and speculations about those of us who live under the sign of Saturn, much of which is passed over in silence by our current vocabulary for discussing depression.
Finally, it's unfortunate that the author is so dismissive of psychoanalysis. Not the therapy, but Freud's worldview, his admirable stoicism, has served some of us very well (see FREUD: THE MIND OF THE MORALIST, by Philip Rieff).
Detenta
I am on my third reading of this extraordinary book. Also, this is the fifth copy purchased. I keep giving it away to friends who are going through 'the tunnel' and feel afraid.