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Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons to Stay Alive

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first book which talks exclusively about anxiety and depression. Hailing from a country (Pakistan) that collectively suffers from all sorts of mental ailments, I could relate to a lot of details in the book, at some level anyway. Personally, I'm not depressed and have never been depressive at any point at time in my life apart from the nobody-understands-me teenage year phases. But even then, I do believe I've seen depression in people close to me, and this book has helped me put a finger on it and maybe given me some semblance of comprehension of this highly tabooed discourse in the society I was raised in.

I had never heard of PND until we had a son of our own and all our friends started having kids of their own; PND became a popular subject of discussion overnight.

Depression in Pakistan, in all its forms, is buried under tradition that has come into shape over centuries of intermingling cultures with almost all of them having rightist ideas as their common denominator. The line of thought these ideas generate tend to patronise mental illnesses equating them to weakness and lack of manliness in men, and well, women have never really been afforded much importance in the region to be considered worthy of scrutiny - they're supposed to live with it. All the more reason for the people from the subcontinent to read up more on these illnesses.

This book is a perfect introduction for anyone who wants to garner some understanding of this debilitating disease plaguing lives of millions of people around the globe. And also for anyone who might be struggling with such an ailment; Matt Haig has given an extremely personal and intimate account of his battles with the demons of depression and anxiety (now-then discussions are amazing), and it's the positivity that oozes out of his rhetoric that will definitely help people looking for reasons to stay alive!

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