A creative and adventurous Australian bloke’s battle with clinical depression
and Anno Domini.
Around 2000 men take their own lives in Australia each year, which is approximately four times the female suicide rate. But only about half as many men as women suffer from clinical depression. It seems obvious that this disparity in suicides is due to the Aussie bloke’s self-image of toughness and taciturnity, many being reluctant to confide even in their girlfriends or wives, let alone their close mates, about any severe depression they experience. And so they suffer often in silence, seeking no help from health professionals until it is too late and they cannot resist the strong urge to self-destruction that is a symptom typical of both clinical and manic depression, bi-polar disorder as the latter is now more commonly called.
Max Sollitt has experienced all the symptoms of clinical depression and tells in a down-to-earth, sometimes darkly humorous way how he stopped himself from becoming another unit in the grim statistics. But this autobiography is not just a story of depression defeated; it is an account of the life until the age of 77 of a seafarer and writer, bibliophile and drunkard, who makes philosophical and psychological enquiries into his relationships over the years with his parents, school-teachers, mates and the opposite sex.
So besides being a book that will interest in particular the families and friends of sufferers from mental illnesses such as clinical depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, and also, of course, the sufferers themselves, Catastroscopes is an intriguing life story with appeal for both the older and younger generations.