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Exit the Labyrinth: A Memoir of Early Childhood Depression — Its Onset and Aftermath

435 pages6 hours


For more than forty years, Margo Witz has been troubled by the effects of an early childhood trauma she can’t remember. Despite years of therapy, she has experienced severe depression and recurrent nightmares. She knows that as an effect of the forgotten trauma, she has difficulty connecting to her own emotions and wants desperately to become normal. When her father needs emergency heart surgery, she travels to Wisconsin to be with her family despite her dread, for her depression usually deepens when she returns to her childhood home. That fact is particularly puzzling, since her energetic, boisterous family has always been loving and supportive. Being in her hometown brings back a lot of memories, many of them not-so-pleasant, but so much of her childhood is still a blank. Her therapist is convinced that discovering the root of her depression will help her unlock those memories. During hours of waiting at the hospital, Margo relives some of the unusual occurrences in her life. Why does she hear an old wooden screen door slam when no one else does? Why was she, as a child, terrified of the walls in her home?

Although this is a true story, it reads like a novel. For those who enjoy memoirs, it is a must-read. Those who have battled with depression may also find comfort in this book.

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