The Neurobiology of Depression; June 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Nemeroff; 8 Page(s)
In his 1990 memoir Darkness Visible, the American novelist William Styron--author of The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie¿s Choice-- chillingly describes his state of mind during a period of depression:
He [a psychiatrist] asked me if I was suicidal, and I reluctantly told him yes. I did not particularize--since there seemed no need to--did not tell him that in truth many of the artifacts of my house had become potential devices for my own destruction: the attic rafters (and an outside maple or two) a means to hang myself, the garage a place to inhale carbon monoxide, the bathtub a vessel to receive the flow from my opened arteries. The kitchen knives in their drawers had but one purpose for me. Death by heart attack seemed particularly inviting, absolving me as it would of active responsibility, and I had toyed with the idea of self-induced pneumonia--a long frigid, shirt-sleeved hike through the rainy woods. Nor had I overlooked an ostensible accident, ¿ la Randall Jarrell, by walking in front of a truck on the highway nearby.... Such hideous fantasies, which cause well people to shudder, are to the deeply depressed mind what lascivious daydreams are to persons of robust sexuality.