Former Home Secretary opens up in autobiography
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/05/2012 -- Former Home Secretary, Jack Straw, recently revealed that he suffered from depression. The condition, he said, was a result of both illness and political tension.
In an autobiography, Straw describes how he personally dealt with the difficulties of tinnitus while the Labour party was divided from infighting after his 1979 election to parliament.
"The deafness seemed a metaphor for what was happening around me. As my hearing fell apart, so did my party, and all the aspirations and dreams I'd had about the future,” Straw said.
"In my own constituency I came under pressure from Trotskyists and other assorted nasties, trying to de-select me. I was in a terrible state, worried about my health and my future."
The stress of the position and general political pressure brought life-long emotional difficulties to a head, according to Straw. He finally was advised to seek help, which he did.
"Alice's mother (his mother-in-law) provided me with a route out of this darkness. She suggested it might help if I saw a psychoanalyst and a man in Islington was recommended.
Although at first I was highly resistant to the idea of anyone prying into my mind, I began going twice a week. It took me awhile to recognize the value of what he was trying to do. Whether professional psychoanalysis is for everyone, I have no idea, but it worked for me. "
Straw wrote candidly on his father’s suicide attempts and beatings taken at the hands of his maternal uncles. Straw also speaks on the difficult issues of losing his daughter and the failure of his first marriage. "We had wanted to start a family, but this proved difficult. Anthea had a course of fertility treatment and, to our great joy, became pregnant. The baby was born fit and well in February 1976. We named her Rachel.”
"Three days later, she was not feeding properly. She was rushed from the ward to a specialist neonatal unit and given the best treatment available, but she became more and more distressed and died. She was six days old."
Straw writes that his hearing has since improved, although he is still suffering from tinnitus in his left ear. He is still occasionally attending psychotherapy sessions.
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