Life B

Overcoming Double Depression

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Book Description

“A compassionate look back at her lifelong mental health issues and how she finally came to the other side, this memoir will help families and partners of anyone struggling—and anyone struggling themselves.” —Zibby Owens, Good Morning America

A bracing and fresh look at a lifelong struggle with depression and mental illness

Plagued by depression her entire life, it wasn’t until her early fifties that writer and book critic Bethanne Patrick, advocating for her own care, received a medical diagnosis that would set her on the path to wellness and stability.

Recognizing the intergenerational effects of trauma and mental health struggles, Patrick unearths the stories of her past in order to forge a better future for herself and her two daughters, dismantling the stigmas surrounding mental health challenges that can plague families into silence and resignation. Life B is an intimate portrait we haven’t yet seen—of a lifelong struggle with depression, of midlife diagnosis and newly found strength. Most important, it’s a life-affirming blueprint of how to accept and transcend the limitations of mental illness.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

Zibby's Mag, A Most Anticipated Book of 2023

"A different kind of depression story . . . a positive road map of how to live with and transcend the limitations of mental illness.” —Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times

"Brave, clear-eyed and honest." —People

"A compassionate look back at her lifelong mental health issues and how she finally came to the other side, this memoir will help families and partners of anyone struggling—and anyone struggling themselves." —Zibby Owens, Good Morning America

"Brave and candid . . . Patrick covers a tremendous time span in this somewhat short memoir, including childhood, her genealogy as it pertains to mental illness, her marriage and the many geographical moves because of her husband's military career, motherhood, and her own career—over five decades of her life recounted through the lens of mental illness. This horizontal approach powerfully reveals the life-long challenge of depression, and how astonishing it is that Patrick fared as well as she has in her life . . . Through her own compelling personal story, Patrick's book will certainly illuminate an aspect of depression that is still little known and understood." —Maureen Stanton, New York Journal of Books

"Bracing . . . Riveting and remarkable in its portrayal of the author’s struggles, this will lend hope to others suffering from mental illness and those who love them . . . A standout." —Publishers Weekly

"Patrick offers valuable insight into what it means to live with a debilitating mental illness . . . Candid and heartfelt." —Kirkus Reviews

“It’s never too late to become who we want to be, to define ourselves on our own terms, as Bethanne Patrick shows us in this wise and beautiful memoir. Life B makes such a powerful and timely argument for finally dismantling our culture’s stigma around mental illness and disability.” —James Tate Hill, author of Blind Man’s Bluff

“Bethanne Patrick has long been a hero in the literary world—a tireless supporter of writers and writing. Now she has given us this brave, elegant work. It’s so good. Radical truth.” —Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels

"Insightful, honest, and ultimately life-affirming, Life B shines a light on a secret life many experience in shame and silence, and shows that it's never too late to take those first steps toward healing. Bethanne Patrick's perseverance in getting a correct diagnosis and treatment at midlife gives hope to everyone who has ever wondered if life will get better." ––Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

“In Life B, Bethanne Patrick takes readers on a harrowing journey to the cliff edge of suicidal despair, so that they might stare into the abyss of depression and better understand this debilitating condition. Not since William Styron’s Darkness Visible has there been so enlightening a book on mental illness. Fearless, generous, fascinating.” ––Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game