Alastair Campbell’s ‘The Happy Depressive: In Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness‘ is a great read (and a short one). As I ‘wrote’ in the Amazon Book Review I posted, his candour and openness is to be commended. Heart on the sleeve stuff. People who suffer from clinical depression will empathise. The millions of people who still don’t understand clinical depression, who still think that people like Alastair Cambell should ‘pull themselves together’, hopefully some of them will read this book and appreciate that it is an illness and requires medical intervention just as does asthma and diabetes.
Alistair is a great illustration of the fact that clinical depression is an illness. To outsiders, to those who don’t know him, to those who don’t understand the illness, Alastair Campbell should be hopping and skipping, whistling and singing and shouting from the rooftops about how happy he is in and with life. Successful, he has experienced colossal career and professional triumphs, he is financially well off, has a supportive wife, great kids…to many, he has it all and should be as happy as the proverbial sandboy. Clinical depression and the lack of understanding out there creates a chasm between the image and perception that people have of the great and the good and, sadly, in many cases, the reality
I have no doubt that writing this book was a cathartic exercise for Alastair Campbell and that it will also provide comfort and support to sufferers and some clarity for those who still don’t ‘get it’.