By Mary Cregan
A fearless, candid memoir interweaving the author’s descent into depression with a medical and cultural history of the illness. At the age of twenty-seven, married, living in New York, and working in book design, Mary Cregan gives birth to her first child, a daughter she names Anna. But it’s apparent that something is terribly wrong, and two days later, Anna dies, plunging Cregan into suicidal despair. Decades later, sustained by her work, a second marriage, and a son, Cregan reflects on and attempts to make sense of this pivotal experience.
Weaving together literature and research with details from her long buried medical records, she writes of her own ordeal and the still-visible scar of a suicide attempt—while considering it as part of a larger history of our understanding of depression. She investigates the treatments she underwent, from hospitalization and shock therapy to psychotherapy and antidepressants.
At once intimate and scholarly, The Scar illuminates a too often stigmatised affliction with compassion and intelligence and offers hope to all those who are still struggling.