Synopses & Reviews
From the best-selling author of An Unquiet Mind: the first major book in a quarter century on suicide, with a particular focus on its terrible pull on the young. Night Falls Fast is both compelling and timely: in the United States and across the world there has been a frightening surge in suicides committed by children, adolescents and young adults. It is the third major cause of death in 19- to 24-year-olds, and the second in college students. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, an internationally recognized authority on depressive illnesses and their treatment, knows this subject firsthand. At the age of 28, after years of struggling with manic-depression, she attempted to kill herself. Her survival marked the beginning of a life's work to investigate both mental illness and self-inflicted death.
Weaving together a psychological and scientific exploration of the subject with personal essays about individual suicides, Dr. Jamison in this book brings not only her compassion and literary skill, but all of her knowledge, research and clinical experience to bear on this devastating problem. In tracing the network of reasons that underlie suicide, Dr. Jamison gives us astonishing examples of the methods and places people have chosen to kill themselves, and a startling look at their journals, drawings and farewell notes. She also brings us vivid insight into the most recent findings from hospitals and laboratories across the world; the critical biological and psychological factors that interact to cause suicide; the new strategies being evolved to combat them; and the powerful, but insufficiently used treatments from modern medicine.
Night Falls Fast dispels the silence and shame that too often surround suicide; it helps us to understand the suicidal mind, to better recognize the person at risk, and to comprehend the profound and disturbing loss created in those left behind.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 319-414) and index.
About the Author
Kay Redfield Jamison is Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the author of the national best seller An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness and co-author of the standard medical textbook on manic-depressive illness. She is also the author of Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, as well as more than a hundred scientific papers about mood disorders, psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and suicide. Dr. Jamison, formerly the director of the UCLA Affective Disorders Clinic, is the recipient of numerous national and international scientific awards, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Research Award. She is, as well, Honorary Professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Dr. Jamison lives in Washington DC, with her husband, Dr. Richard Wyatt, a physician and scientist at the National Institutes of Health.