In vivid and candid detail, Tracy Thompson’s The Beast is an honest attempt to pull back the curtain on depression. This reveal gives both clinician and layman a behind the scenes look at the destructive and debilitating effects on a life suffering with illness that the brain can’t quite understand. Tracing her roots and upbringing, Thompson discloses that mental illness has always been a part of her family. As a teenager she would write the word depression in her journal, not knowing that the “beast” would unfortunately accompany her throughout the rest of her life. As the title suggests, this enemy would reap havoc upon her career, her self-esteem, and her most intimate relationships. The Beast is a powerful story of a nationally recognized journalist with the Washington Post who, in spite of the cultural taboo and ignorance surrounding mental illness in the 1960’s and 1970’s, learned to cope with depression. Thompson’s arduous and courageous battle with depression is an inspiring story of a woman who endured years of talk therapy, evolving psychotropic medications, and numerous suicide attempts.
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Bolen, T. (2006). The Beast: A Book Review. Perspectives In Learning, 7 (1). Retrieved from http://csuepress.columbusstate.edu/pil/vol7/iss1/16