From New York Times bestselling author and blogger Heather B. Armstrong comes an honest and irreverent memoirâ€”reminiscent of the New York Times bestseller Brain on Fireâ€”about her experience as the third person ever to participate in an experimental treatment for depression involving ten rounds of a chemically induced coma approximating brain death.
For years, Heather B. Armstrong has alluded to her struggle with depression on her website, dooce. Itâ€™s scattered throughout her archive, where it weaves its way through posts about pop culture, music, and motherhood. In 2016, Heather found herself in the depths of a depression she just couldnâ€™t shake, an episode darker and longer than anything she had previously experienced. She had never felt so discouraged by the thought of waking up in the morning, and it threatened to destroy her life. For the sake of herself and her family, Heather decided to risk it all by participating in an experimental clinical trial.
Now, for the first time, Heather recalls the torturous eighteen months of suicidal depression she endured and the month-long experimental study in which doctors used propofol anesthesia to quiet all brain activity for a full fifteen minutes before bringing her back from a flatline. Ten times. The experience wasnâ€™t easy. Not for Heather or her family. But a switch was flipped, and Heather hasnâ€™t experienced a single moment of suicidal depression since.
â€śBreathtakingly honestâ€ť (Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author), self-deprecating, and scientifically fascinating, The Valedictorian of Being Dead brings to light a groundbreaking new treatment for depression.
The Valedictorian of Being Dead was previously published with the subtitle â€śThe True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live.â€ť