‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ is Matt Haig’s personal account of how he pulled himself away from the brink of suicide, worked through depression, anxiety and mental crisis, and learned to live again.
We are all touched at some point in our lives by mental illness – either as a direct experience or through knowing someone struggling with their mental health, including depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Everyone’s experience is unique as the author highlights.
In this book Matt Haig takes the reader through his own personal journey of his most depressive period. He uses humour to great effect, for example – he lists ‘things people say to depressives that they don’t say in other life-threatening situations’ and ‘things that have happened to me that have generated more sympathy than depression’ – eg. eczema and eating a poisoned prawn.
Haig’s style, prose and brutal honesty details his emotions and physical symptoms with great triumph. There’s no victim playing out in search of rescuers. He tells it as it is and as it was with amazing strength of character.
Although considered a memoir, this book will speak out to many people experiencing varying levels of mental illness struggling to be heard, understood or taken seriously. Anyone who feels they are unable to continue feeling as they do and is considering taking their life, this book will provide the chink of light at the end of the tunnel that is so hard to consider when you’re at rock bottom. That’s HOPE.
Life with depression can still be a brilliant life; here’s a book to remind you.