Depressing Non-fiction

I have a short attention span when it comes to non-fiction.

I feel like I could tackle just about any non-fiction topic, but then I remind myself that it’s probably impossible for me to write a whole book about anything. I love to do research for my novels, but to write a whole non-fiction book, I know I’d really have to dive into a topic, stay dedicated to it, and not drop it when I had the most basic understanding of it.

That’s why I like the Confabulator Café posts. Perfect little 300-500 word bites of knowledge imparted from my brain to you. Short, concise, and no need of extensive (if any) research. I can handle that. I could probably talk about myself for a whole novel. So perhaps that’s what my non-fiction book would be. I did write a memoir once. Memoirs can be my non-fiction.

I think any other non-fiction attempt would probably be more pamphlet-length.

I am a Jack of all subjects and a master of none, perhaps save writing, and the Café has all my best work already. Maybe I’ll just stick to fiction?

In all seriousness, though, for a long time I thought about writing a book about depression. I’ve fought against chronic depression for a majority of my life, and I’ve learned a thing or two about it. Mostly, I’ve learned to describe what it’s like really well. I often thought that if I put that out there into the world, maybe someone else who is going through similar suffering might find comfort in the fact that he or she is not alone. And maybe see if what helped me get through the worst of it might help someone else.

I think writing a book about depression, while being somewhat depressing, would also lead to some pretty interesting research, and would also end up directly benefitting me, as well. Not only would writing about it be therapeutic, but I’d learn a lot more about it, too. Know thine enemy, and all of that.

I could talk to doctors, psychiatrists, therapists – Lawrence is home of the well-known author of The Depression Cure, Dr. Stephen Ilardi, and the psychiatrist I went to see was his wife, Dr. Maria Ilardi. I could research what actually happens inside the body of a depressed person – because so often people think depression is just a state of mind and don’t realize it’s actually a physical, chemical problem like any disease – as well as all of the different techniques for fighting it. I learned several during my time in therapy. Some of them worked for me, and some didn’t, but it is nice to have options.

I might even be able to interview other people about their depression. It can often be very validating to know you aren’t alone, so to hear other people talk about their experiences can be very comforting and helpful.

Mostly, I’d just like to get the word out there that it’s ok to ask for help when you are depressed. Sometimes it just takes a nudge from someone to realize, oh, hey, I can’t do this alone, or someone giving you permission to get help.

Maybe not everyone struggles with that issue, but I did, so I like to think maybe others do as well.

So for me, it sounds like my non-fiction topic would be pretty serious. Not sure I could stay focused on something superfluous for long. I’d want to write something that could actually help and educate people. Something that would make a difference, and help me, as well.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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