I read this very quickly (in about an hour or so). It is an honest look at one person's struggle with depression. I think the author does a great job and telling his story, but also in letting the reader know that his struggles are his own and that others may have different symptoms and that not all treatments work for everyone. I found it particularly telling in that prior to his mental illness, Styron admitted he couldn't understand someone taking their own life (which I think many people who haven't suffered from depression also feel) but while in his depression nearly did so. To me that speaks volumes to the seriousness of mental illness and the reason why 25 years after this book was written we still need to keep talking about it.