New Island, 2010
In this important book, journalist Sue Leonard has spoken to fourteen Irish people, of all ages, who live with depression, anxiety and related illnesses. Here they tell their sometimes heart-rending but hopeful stories concentrating on the tools they use to help them cope on a day-to-day basis.
Keys to the Cage will go some way to breaking the silence and stigma surrounding the issues of mental health. The book also includes a list of all the therapies, support groups and books mentioned.
‘I was so lucky that my GP understood. I have spoken to so many people since, and their doctors have been incredibly dismissive.’ – Emma, 29, a scientist from Dublin
‘Once you start to say how you feel, the shutters come down. Only someone who has been through something similar can give you hope.’ – Ned, 50, Taxi Driver from Co. Wexford
‘I’ve realised now that there is no magic cure. I now accept that the person who is going to cure me is me.’ – Margaret, 42, a special-needs teacher from Co. Kildare
‘I had no flowers; no get-well cards; no phone calls or messages of sympathy. I might as well have been in Mountjoy Jail.’ – Senan, 60, a businessman from Co. Clare
‘Not just a key: a map, a compass and a beacon.’
‘Years of experience interviewing people has added a special quality to each chapter, with the author’s sensitive approach making the individual stories accessible to all readers, particularly those reaching out for support.’
‘If you are fed up, suicidal, post-natal, anxious, stressed, depressed or know someone who is and whose daily life is affected, get them this book. Somewhere in one of these stories they will find their own story, and a way to help themselves find a better life.’
‘The author has given her subjects a chance to breathe – the space to say what it feels like to suffer from this debilitating condition, to explain what triggers it, to talk about what works in the battle against it and what doesn’t.’