Black Rainbow: How words healed me – my journey through depression

“The powerful first-person story of one woman’s struggle with depression, and how she managed to recover from it through the power of poetry.
In 1997, Oxford graduate, working mother, and Times journalist Rachel Kelly went from feeling mildly anxious to being completely unable to function within the space of just three days. Prescribed antidepressants by her doctor, and supported by her husband and her family, Rachel slowly began to get better, but her anxiety levels remained high, and six years later, as a stay-at-home mother, she suffered a second collapse even worse than the first. Throughout both of Rachel’s periods of severe depression, the healing power of poetry became an integral part of her recovery. As someone who had always loved poetry, it became something for Rachel to cling onto in times of need—from repeating short mantras to learning and reciting entire poems—these words and verses became a powerful force for change in her life.
Rachel analyzes why poetry can be one answer to depression, and the book contains a selection of 40 poems that provided Rachel with solace and comfort during her breakdown and recovery. At a time when mental health problems and depression are becoming more common, and the stigma around such issues is finally being lifted, this book offers a lifeline for anyone seeking to understand depression and seek new ways to treat it. Poetry is free, has no side-effects, and, as Rachel can attest, “prescribing words instead of pills” can be an incredibly powerful remedy.” (From Amazon)

A mix of her story and advice based on her experiences, this book gives real insight into what living with depression can be like and is part of the Recovery Stories section of the library. Stories can be a really powerful way of understanding our struggles. Reading about others’ experiences can help to make sense of our own experiences while recognising that everyone’s story is unique to them.

Black Rainbow: How words healed me - my journey through depression

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