Wing of Madness Depression FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Head of a Nymph by Sophie Anderson

Below are answers to some questions that I am frequently asked. Remember, these answers are my own opinion on these matters (and I can be very opinionated).

Q.Where did the title of your page come from?

A. What inspired me was this passage from William Styron’s Darkness Visible, a recounting of his own depression:

One bright day on a walk through the woods with my dog I heard a flock of Canada geese honking high above trees ablaze with foliage; ordinarily a sight and sound that would have exhilarated me, the flight of birds caused me to stop, riveted with fear, and I stood stranded there, helpless, shivering, aware for the first time that I had been stricken by no mere pangs of withdrawal but by a serious illness whose name and actuality I was able finally to acknowledge. Going home, I couldn’t rid my mind of the line of Baudelaire’s, dredged up from the distant past, that for several days had been skittering around at the edge of my consciousness: “I have felt the wind of the wing of madness.”

I have seen other translations of the line since then, but for me this passage captured how I felt when I realized that something was wrong with me that I could not banish on my own.

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