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Publisher's Summary

National best seller

Shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny's stunning memoir chronicles with courageous honesty and uncommon eloquence her experience of depression and her quest to explore what we know and don't know about this disease that afflicts almost a fifth of the population - providing an invaluable guide to a system struggling to find solutions. As fascinating as it is heartrending, as outrageously funny as it is serious, it is a must-listen for anyone impacted by depression - and that's pretty much everybody. 

Depression is a havoc-wreaking illness that masquerades as personal failing and hijacks your life. After a major suicide attempt in her early 20s, Anna Mehler Paperny resolved to put her reporter's skills to use to get to know her enemy, setting off on a journey to understand her condition, the dizzying array of medical treatments on offer, and a medical profession in search of answers. Charting the way depression wrecks so many, she maps competing schools of therapy, pharmacology, cutting-edge medicine, the pill-popping pitfalls of long-term treatment, the glaring unknowns, and the institutional shortcomings that both patients and practitioners are up against. She interviews leading medical experts across Canada and the US, from psychiatrists to neurologists, brain-mapping pioneers to family practitioners, and others dabbling in strange hypotheses - and shares compassionate conversations with fellow sufferers.

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me tracks Anna's quest for knowledge and her desire to get well. Impeccably reported, it is a profoundly compelling story about the human spirit and the myriad ways we treat (and fail to treat) the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Anna Mehler Paperny (P)2019 Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

“Anna Mehler Paperny illuminates the dark corners of suicide and depression with wit and tenacity. Both an extraordinary work of journalism and a poignant, harrowing (and occasionally funny) memoir. Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is fearless and necessary.” (Don Gillmor, author of To the River: Losing My Brother)

“Compelling... This is a very good book. People coping with depression will find it supportive as well as entertaining (Anna has a great sense of humor). I also think it will help educate the public.” (Dr. Marcia Valenstein, MD, MSc, Psychiatrist, University of Michigan Hospitals, and Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System)

“Clear-eyed without being dispassionate, this book has so much to offer even the most well-versed in mental health issues. Anna Mehler Paperny goes far deeper than the surface conversations we usually have about depression, giving us the unvarnished reality of what it means to live with the feeling you want to die. Brave and brilliantly researched, this powerful book is poised to create real change, and is an absolute must read for those who have had their lives touched by depression - which is everyone.” (Stacey May Fowles, author of Be Good and Baseball Life Advice) 

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Feeling less alone whilst depressed and isolating

I have toyed with the idea of sharing writing of some of the worst periods in my life. Thinking it boring and/or self indulgent, but now realise how hungrily I consumed the opportunity to hear the deep dark secrets of a fellow human’s suffering. Based in Canada I think the system evaluation is reflective of western culture, and whilst I enjoyed the more objective parts of the book, the first person subjective nature is what kept me completely engaged. Two days fir a depressed person with horrid concentration to listen to. Thanks for sharing the dark recesses of your experience and life! Well narrated.

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sensational

loved it so much! this book is something everyone should read/listen to. Paperny eloquently describes the turmoil of unwell mental health in a way everyone can understand, not just those suffering with it. her conclusions and interviews are insightful, if heartbreaking.

i think if you have a mental health disorder you should take breaks between listening to chapters as the information on the lack of treatment & awareness (while fascinating) can be quite demoralising — especially during a health crisis

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  • NL
  • 21-12-2020

provocative title and a good story

Definitely an interesting 'read'. I may be somewhat biased as I caught myself comparing this book with Hari's Lost Connections. Nevertheless I have found some thought-provoking insights and sympathized with the author's story. Would recommend.

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Informative and heart wrenching

Truely inspirational book. I learnt so much about the services, the gaps, the lows and highs but most importantly about myself. Thank you

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  • Robert
  • 15-06-2020

Gripping first person account & in depth research

This really helps provide a first-hand perspective of severe depression. The author pursued in-depth investigative reporting to go deeper into the topic beyond her own story to find options and leave us with a good view of the current landscape and what still needs to be done.

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