Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me
Anna Mehler Paperny
Depression is a havoc-wreaking illness that masquerades as personal failing and hijacks your life. After a major suicide attempt in her early 20s, Anna Mehler Paperny resolved to put her reporter's skills to use to get to know her enemy, setting off on a journey to understand her condition, the dizzying array of medical treatments on offer and a medical profession in search of answers. Charting the way depression wrecks so many, she maps competing schools of therapy, pharmacology, cutting-edge medicine, the pill-popping pitfalls of long-term treatment, the glaring unknowns and the institutional shortcomings that both patients and practitioners are up against. She interviews leading medical experts across Canada and the U.S., from psychiatrists to neurologists, brain-mapping pioneers to family practitioners, and others dabbling in strange hypotheses — and shares compassionate conversations with fellow sufferers.
Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me tracks Anna's quest for knowledge and her desire to get well. Impeccably reported, it is a profoundly compelling story about the human spirit and the myriad ways we treat — and fail to treat — the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world. (From Random House Canada)
Anna Mehler Paperny is a Canadian journalist. Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is her first book.
Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me was on the shortlist for the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
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From the book
How do you talk about trying to die? Haltingly, urgently: in messages and calls to friends. Abashedly: you stand in the middle of a hospital hallway on a parent's cell phone as your grandfather bellows, "No more stupid tricks!" Gingerly: you stand in your psych ward at the patients' landline, conscious of fellow patients watching TV just behind you, white corkscrew cord curled around your finger as you murmur to your grandmother who understands better than she should. Who is the first to tell you, as you lean against the orange-tinted counter with its row of cupboards for confiscated belongings below the sink, that you have to write all this down. And even though you put it off for months, agonize for years, you know she's right.
Quietly, desperately: in one medical appointment after another. Trepidatiously: to colleagues. Searchingly: in interviews. Increasingly loudly. In a book? With the world?
From Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me by Anna Mehler Paperny ©2019. Published by Random House Canada.