Sweet Distress grapples with one of the central questions of our age: when our lives are materially more comfortable than ever, why are we suffering an epidemic of mental ill health?
In a quirky, accessible and occasionally grating style, Gillian Bridge attacks this issue with no holds barred. We are living in a time of extreme narcissism, she argues, railing against our self-obsession, self-indulgence and the -˜great big emotional wankfest' of recent decades. Her provocative suggestion is that our growing obsession with mental health issues may not actually be helping us get better. In fact, this tidal wave of self-pity may actually be making the situation worse. Bridge's solution? Resilience. Developing the inner fortitude to absorb life's travails, but also being able to look beyond the self: strength through empathy.
This book provides a practical and uncompromising assessment of the state we're in and how we might find our way to a tougher and less anguished place. I didn't always agree with Bridge, but given our ongoing epidemic of depression and anxiety, her ideas certainly merit consideration.