Victory Over The Dark Wood (William Styron).

889 words - 4 pages

Tiffany VentoENB 215 Paper #2April 6th, 2003Victory over the Dark WoodWilliam Styron's fall from grace is a captivating story of the horrors of living with unipolar disorder. After recognizing the symptoms of unipolar disorder, Styron takes us through a terrifying glimpse of his battle to overcome the dark wood.According to Comer, Unipolar disorder is depression without a history of mania. A major depressive episode consists of many symptoms. The following are the most prominent in Styron's life:InsomniaDepressed mood most of the day, nearly everydayA feeling of worthlessness/helplessnessDiminished ability to think clearly, indecisivenessRecurrent thoughts of death or suicide attempt, or a specific plan of committing suicideStyron gives us many examples and insights of the various symptoms that he faces. He speaks extensively about his bout with insomnia. While in Paris he realizes that his sleep disorder was disrupting his daily life."It had been my custom of a near lifetime, like that of vast numbers of people, to settle myself into a soothing nap in the late afternoon, but the disruption of normal sleep patterns is a notoriously devastating feature of depression; to the injurious sleeplessness with which I had been afflicted each night was added the insult of this afternoon insomnia, diminutive by comparison but all the more horrendous because it struck during the hours of the most intense misery."(Sytron, Pg.18)Styron talks about how he had serenity in the mornings and throughout the day it seemed like the gloom would intensify. In the beginning he would nap during the late afternoon hours when his depression was at its height. As the disorder progressed he was unable to escape his scheduled naps due to insomnia.It is very clear from the beginning of the book that Styron is depressed throughout the majority of the day with intervals of lucidity, but as the story moves on the lucidity disappears and major depressive episodes take it's place. "Gloom crowding in on me, sense of dread and alienation and, above all, stifling anxiety." (Styron, pg.12)Styron's sense of worthlessness began to show its ugly signs in France. He had received an award in Paris, which was highly respected amongst the literary community. Accepting this prestigious award embarrassed him. "By which I was persuaded that I could not be worth of the prize, that I was in fact not worthy of any recognition that had come my way.." (Styron, Pg.19) While Styron was in Paris, his disorder reached a peak where he felt that he was completely and utterly worthless, not worthy of any recognition that...

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