Monday, January 9, 2017

But I'm Not Depressed by Lia Rees

Poignant, witty, and equally as dire for what it reveals about the state of the medical field.

"But I'm Not Depressed" is a memoir which takes the reader down the rabbit hole and shoots them via cannon straight into a proverbial hell. It details the author's fight for proper diagnosis and treatment after a brain injury brought on by an MMR vaccination.

I found it hard to put this down. Despite the train wreck of disintegration it explains, there is a hard-edged dark humor to every chapter. It drives the narrative arc in a way that touches on what it means to maintain hope as a blip on the radar. Maybe more of a figment, actually. It exists by merit of determination rather than false attributions to the silver linings mentality.

Furthermore, this book touches on aspects of the medical field which made me cringe, internally rage, and eventually smirk. The author's struggles move through mandated psychotherapy--poorly conducted--to self-diagnosis, and finally a semblance of answers. Rees paints a dark picture, but it's not all doom and gloom.

Often, she touches on the idea of rebuilding herself; this theme runs much of the arc, and its one that makes the narrative--despite being a memoir--relatable, even to those of us without a brain injury. How often do we look in the mirror and build ourselves anew after such knocks? Could you do it with a good portion of your memories gone? Certainly thought-provoking, and it made me examine myself more closely for having read it.

The material is well-written, almost perfectly edited, and accessible to those with little knowledge of the subject matter. In all, I give it 4.75-stars due to a slight piece of word-for-word repetition in different chapters. That being said, this toes the line so closely to 5-stars, I hardly think that piddly .25 matters.

Bottom line: read this.

You can find "But I'm Not Depressed" on Amazon.

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