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Publisher's Summary

National best seller

Shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny's stunning memoir chronicles with courageous honesty and uncommon eloquence her experience of depression and her quest to explore what we know and don't know about this disease that afflicts almost a fifth of the population - providing an invaluable guide to a system struggling to find solutions. As fascinating as it is heartrending, as outrageously funny as it is serious, it is a must-listen for anyone impacted by depression - and that's pretty much everybody. 

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 US, 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Anna Mehler Paperny (P)2019 Random House Canada

What the critics say

“Anna Mehler Paperny illuminates the dark corners of suicide and depression with wit and tenacity. Both an extraordinary work of journalism and a poignant, harrowing (and occasionally funny) memoir. Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is fearless and necessary.” (Don Gillmor, author of To the River: Losing My Brother)

“Compelling... This is a very good book. People coping with depression will find it supportive as well as entertaining (Anna has a great sense of humor). I also think it will help educate the public.” (Dr. Marcia Valenstein, MD, MSc, Psychiatrist, University of Michigan Hospitals, and Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System)

“Clear-eyed without being dispassionate, this book has so much to offer even the most well-versed in mental health issues. Anna Mehler Paperny goes far deeper than the surface conversations we usually have about depression, giving us the unvarnished reality of what it means to live with the feeling you want to die. Brave and brilliantly researched, this powerful book is poised to create real change, and is an absolute must read for those who have had their lives touched by depression - which is everyone.” (Stacey May Fowles, author of Be Good and Baseball Life Advice) 

What listeners say about Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

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  • K W
  • 2020-03-14

DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE SUICIDAL

Book is not for those going through intense depression. All it makes you realize is that not only do you feel hopeless, the whole field of psychology/psychiatry will have nothing to offer you. Also can give you ideas of how better to make attempts more fatal.

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A rollercoaster

I was looking for a more personal experience. Not that there wasn't any, just there was a lot of clinical blah blah. The narrator was a little monotonous and made it difficult to stick with the book.

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Thank you for sharing

As a suicide survivor I could relate to your experience. I've been in St. Joe's as well, I could visualize you going through the different units and imagined being there with you. I tend to isolate a lot but this book felt like I was not alone for a while and replay often it to escape to pain. Thank you. (((((((Hugs))))))) Stefonknee

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Important read

I laughed at the title the very first time I saw the book because I assumed that it was sarcastic, but I very quickly found out that it wasn’t and there was very little to laugh about within the pages of this book.

Hello I Want To Die Please Fix Me is a combination of Anna Mehler’s deeply intimate and transparent first person account, of her ongoing struggle with suicide, and an in-depth and brutally honest critique of the mental health sector in North America.

I found the book highly informative and educational, from the need for emphatic physicians who are culturally conscious amongst other things, to the ways in which capitalism directly impacts the likelihood of progress being made in terms of research and medication for any particular mental illness.

I found the writing style a bit difficult, only in that while it was clear and comprehensible, the drastic difference between how emotive and descriptive the language was when Mehler wrote about the lives of those who had been impacted by suicide, and the way she wrote quite matter if factly about the health care system was sometimes jarring. It sometimes felt like I was reading both a memoir and an academic journal.

All in all it was a very difficult book to read simply because of the subject matter, but I would say It is entirely necessary. It will leave you with conflicted thoughts on when and how a persons right to things like privacy, autonomy and self determination can or should be limited.

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trigger warning

good book. It was informative and she'd light on many issues. it. should come with huge trigger warning for those with past or depression and suicidality

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Heavy... yet poignant.

This book took me a while to get through, having lost a dear friend to suicide shortly before starting... it struck a cord or two. However, it is a really fantastic and informative book, through and through. The fact that the entirety of the book is based on findings within Canada - from personal accounts of trauma and triumph as well as clinical studies - just makes the book all the more better. It was tough to listen to at times but I am so happy I finished it.

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Courageous, Thoughtful, and Inspiring

Am so impressed with the breadth and depth of research that's gone into this book. And the courage, oh my. For someone who hasn't personally experienced depression or suicidal ideation but tries to be a helpful friend to those who do, I found this incredibly informative and helpful. A real gift. Thank you! Loved Tess' reading as well.

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Pleasantly Surprised !!

This book has been fantastic. True, honest, raw. Loved the research, and studies, and interviews. So great to have a journalist as the author !! This book does not disappoint !

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  • RB
  • 2019-09-04

A necessary read for anyone interested in mental health

Extraordinarily written and narrated. Thank you to the author for sharing her personal experience,and for conducting so much worthwhile research.

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hard to listen to

please, don't listen to this book if you are suicidal. it is triggering. I learned a lot on what's going on with the reserches in the field of depression around the world.

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  • Robert
  • 2020-06-15

Gripping first person account & in depth research

This really helps provide a first-hand perspective of severe depression. The author pursued in-depth investigative reporting to go deeper into the topic beyond her own story to find options and leave us with a good view of the current landscape and what still needs to be done.