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Unhappy families

Depression is often passed from parents to their children. Margaret Drabble, who was a depressive child, believes that it is possible to break the chain of suffering

By Margaret Drabble   November 1996

When I was a child of nine or ten years old, I was so depressed that I used to wish I could die in my sleep. I remember going to bed saying to myself, “enough of that, enough of that” and wishing I might never wake again. In the morning I would surface to such anxiety, darkness, and oppression that I could hardly believe I could endure the day. And what was all this about, what was it for?

There was nothing in my external circumstances to inspire such precocious suffering. I was the second child of a middle class…

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