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The Scar

A Personal History of Depression and Recovery
Written by: Mary Cregan
Narrated by: Mary Cregan
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A graceful and penetrating memoir interweaving the author’s descent into depression with a medical and cultural history of this illness.

At the age of 27, 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 this pivotal experience and attempts to make sense of it. She weaves together literature and research with details from her own ordeal - and the still visible scar of her suicide attempt - while also considering her life as part of the larger history of our understanding of depression. In fearless, candid prose, Cregan examines her psychotherapy alongside early treatments of melancholia, weighs the benefits of shock treatment against its terrifying pop culture depictions, explores the controversy around antidepressants and how little we know about them - even as she acknowledges that the medication saved her life - and sifts through the history of the hospital where her recovery began. 

Perceptive, intimate, and elegantly written, The Scar vividly depicts the pain and ongoing stigma of clinical depression, giving greater insight into its management and offering hope for those who are suffering.

©2019 Mary Cregan (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
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  • jennifer romine
  • 2019-03-24

An extraordinary contribution!

I listened to the 8 hours in 2 sittings. I have zero criticisms. “The Scar” is a remarkable
achievement on every level. Now, I need to buy
the book because I will want to return to it again and again. Thank you Mary Cregan!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Larry Miller
  • 2019-04-02

Brave, bold, inspiring and informative

While I usually am compelled to get to the end, I found myself "slowwalking" this book because I didn't want it to end.

A compelling personal story bracketed with an informative history of treatment of depression and current science, this is a rare tale of misfortune followed by years of trial and effort to achieve a qualified happy ending. It leaves the reader with an understanding of depression as an illness, not as a state of mind. And while the writer qualifies the outcome with uncertainty, it is an outcome that many would envy.

Narration by the writer gives the book an extra touch of the personal in a very personal story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • H. Moore
  • Dallas, TX
  • 2019-06-14

Touching Story

Mary's personal story is touching and woven together with a brief but interesting history of psychotherapy, psychiatric pharmacology and institutional treatment. I really loved her voice, however the audio recording itself proved to be extremely distracting with periods of loud clicks and pops, likely amplified much more than is natural due to the audio compression or the author's inexperience with voiceover. I got through it, but if that kind of thing annoys you, consider purchasing the physical book instead. It's still a worthwhile read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott A.
  • 2019-04-03

Brave and beautiful

Such deep introspection is incredibly brave. Thanks for letting the light in with your research and introspection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful