Insiders Outsiders is a glimpse into the debilitating illness that is clinical depression, from both the author’s own personal experiences of it and those of others who have known it either as sufferers (‘insiders’) or ‘outsiders’ – people who have lived with or cared for sufferers.
It is a series of stark and bleak accounts of the pain and anxiety inherent in this still much misunderstood mental illness, yet also a tale of courage, self-development and redemption.
The autobiographical element, charting Scott’s road to breakdown and ‘slow climb’ back to recovery, is very moving, and it is especially interesting to read how his wife Jennie travelled her own journey on the ‘outside’ and how she was affected by his illness.
"What is arguably most unique about this book is its very positive perspective on a negative theme – Scott describes his depression as a ‘gift’ that will enable him to help others, and his attempts to understand its origins seem to be also an attempt to lessen its power over him."
Despite some necessarily dark moments, the only real ‘negative’ in the story is his attitude towards mental healthcare in this country, which is really constructive criticism and so more positive than it might initially seem.
Finally, there is a very interesting perspective through the eyes of a professional and experienced psychotherapist, who puts her own views on the individual accounts and how and why depression has been manifested and sustained.
About the author
Steve Scott was born on a tough council estate in Gosport, Hampshire, in 1958 and this is where he spent the first part of his younger life. With his family, he had three-year spells in both Gibralter and Malta, his father being in the Ministry of Defence. He eventually moved to Plymouth in 1970 where he completed his education and began his career in retailing. With his wife, Jennie, he moved to South Africa in 1982, initially on a 3 year contract with a major South African retailer. Because they enjoyed the climate and the lifestyle they decided to stay on an extra 2 years but the call of ‘home’ beckoned and they returned to Plymouth in 1987. Steve resumed his career in retailing, concentrating on logistics this time, a job that he initially loved and was passionate about. In 2005, Steve had a major breakdown and had to give up this job but has since reincarnated himself as a self-employed life and business coach.