How have relationships helped or harmed William Styron with depression in the book Darkness Visible?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to Styron, his wife played a major role in his ability to fight depression. He asserted that his wife stood by his side throughout his fight with depression. She comforted him and helped him until he was institutionalized.

At one point, Styron sought help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Gold, who believed in prescriptions to alleviate the suffering caused by depression. However, Styron viewed the drugs as unhelpful and chose instead to be institutionalized. It was through the institutionalization and interactions with other patients that Styron began his recovery. He also noted that the drugs did not achieve much in helping him with the condition.

Romain Gary and wife Jean Seberg were both friends to Styron and also suffered from depression which led them to commit suicide. Romain’s and Seberg’s challenges informed Styron about his own situation which ultimately helped him seek professional help.

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