Andrew Solomon - Depression, Too, is a Thing with Feathers, Family Action Network
Thursday, October 23, 2014, Depression, Too, is a Thing with Feathers.Family Action Network (FAN) welcomes back Andrew Solomon, Ph.D.,one of the most inspirational and effective speakers in its 32-year history. His topic this time is depression, based on the content of his 2001 international bestselling memoir The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction that year and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. A tour de force exploration of depression as viewed by science, philosophy, psychology, and literature, Dr. Solomon artfully weaves a deeply moving personal narrative of his own profound struggles with the disease throughout the book.The title of this presentation is a riff on the title of an Emily Dickinson poem – “Hope, Too, is a Thing with Feathers” – and it is Dr. Solomon’s intent to illuminate how the experience of depression, suffering and loneliness is the source of penetrating insight, and of hope. Depression, described as a “living death,” has yielded to him the grace of true intimacy. His poetic, compassionate, thorough “atlas” of the disease has no counterpart. Dr. Solomon will examine how depression functions across history, across cultures, and across socioeconomic categories. He will pay special attention to the ways in which some resilient individuals manage to integrate depression into their lives, which allows them to experience various degrees of success in their lives in spite of depression’s chronic, persistent nature.Dr. Solomon’s incandescent December 2013 FAN presentation concluded with a sustained standing ovation; as a speaker, he has few equals, and his openness and wholeheartedness are a balm to many. This is a must-see event, not just for those who suffer from depression (and their families, friends and caregivers), but also for anyone who values the melding of meticulous, intelligent reporting, frank honesty, and a loving embrace of humanity.