At the age of twenty-seven, married, living in New York, and working in book design, Mary Cregan gives birth to her first child, a daughter she names Anna. But it’s apparent that something is terribly wrong and two days later, Anna dies, plunging Cregan into suicidal despair. Decades later, sustained by her work, a second marriage, and a son, Cregan reflects on and attempts to make sense of this pivotal experience.
Weaving together literature and research with details from her long-buried medical records, she writes of her own ordeal and the still-visible scar of a suicide attempt- while considering it as part of a larger history of our understanding of depression. She investigates the treatments she underwent, from hospitalization and shock therapy to psychotherapy and antidepressants.
At once intimate and scholarly, The Scar illuminates a too often stigmatised affliction with compassion and intelligence and offers hope to all those who are still struggling.