DId Agatha Christie Suffer from Depression?

I recently stumbled across this short article and I wonder if it's true. I know that Agatha Christie often kept to herself and stayed away from the medium. Writers often spend a lot of time thinking and their world is revolved around their thoughts. But from this article (link: http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/29/brian-blessed-reveals-agatha-christie-confided-in-him-about-having-depression-when-the-two-became-friends-6742652/) it appears that Christie confided in this person that she did have depression and at times felt melacholic. In Agatha Christie's 1977 Autobiography, she says, “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” That quote sounds awfully like what Christie "supposedly" told Brian Blessed, “I have a love of life, great infinite curiosity about life but I frequently get depressed. I use my mind so much I go on a walkabout.

Does anyone believe any of this to be genuine? 



“People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
«1

Comments

  • shanashana Paramaribo, Suriname ✭✭✭
    Seems right to me, especially if AC herself states as much. Her 'walkabout' of 11 days is also pointing in that direction.
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 7
    What's extraordinary to me is the fact that any bouts of depression and sadness that she had didn't get in the way of producing such a massive body of work, not just in quantity but in quality. Most people would have probably quit writing altogether and allowed themselves to spiral into a deeper depression or they wouldn't have produced as much as they would have if they never suffered through it at all. I've been going through episodes of depression and melancholy and it has put my writing on the backburner. But that is probably the worst thing to do. It's best to work through the sadness and write just as Agatha Christie had done. It may not completely get rid of it but it would certainly alleviate it at certain moments.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • Disclaimer: I am not a professional in treating depression! That said, my experience is that depression hits different people in different ways. I some cases it's a "comes and goes" thing, with bouts of depression alternating with periods of reasonable productivity. In other cases it's a permanent thing, lasting weeks, months or years. Bottom line - do not blame yourself, do get help. Back to AC - she probably had bouts of depression, perhaps triggered by family events.
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 8
    Back to AC - she probably had bouts of depression, perhaps triggered by family events.
    I know about the situation in Christie's first marriage with Archie and his affair that lead to Agatha's "disappearance", but I also heard that her second husband Max Mallowan was just as unfaithful. It's possible that those bouts of depression from her first marriage returned with the revelation of Max's infidelity. 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • trennietrennie mt.airy, MD Fan
    Back to AC - she probably had bouts of depression, perhaps triggered by family events.
    I know about the situation in Christie's first marriage with Archie and his affair that lead to Agatha's "disappearance", but I also heard that her second husband Max Mallowan was just as unfaithful. It's possible that those bouts of depression from her first marriage returned with the revelation of Max's infidelity. 
    He may have had occasional dalliances, who knows, but Christie knew he would never leave her.  Although he eventually, made a scholarly career of his own, it was helped greatly by her wealth and the influential friends her success had brought her.  And if he left her it would end.  I think she was happy with Mallowan.  He knew what she expected from him and he seems to have kept his end of the unspoken bargain.

    I think the worst period of AC's life was her husband's sudden declaration he wanted a divorce followed by her mother's death.  She seems to have been terrified of being left ALONE in the world. That was the wild sorrow she spoke of. But she was a healthy active woman with a good mind  and picked herself up, got on the Orient Express to explore the world.  And the test we know.
  • trennie said:

    I think the worst period of AC's life was her husband's sudden declaration he wanted a divorce followed by her mother's death.  She seems to have been terrified of being left ALONE in the world. That was the wild sorrow she spoke of. But she was a healthy active woman with a good mind  and picked herself up, got on the Orient Express to explore the world.  And the test we know.
    Any bouts of sadness that Christie may have had in the latter period of her life, she was able to pick herself up just as she had after the divorce of her first husband. And her account of going on the Orient Express is extraordinary to read and we see how Christie is able to get out of the worst pits of her life with travel and exploration. I also applaud her for when she wrote The Mystery of the Blue Train, during the rough time of her first marriage, a time in which not only didn't she feel all that great in her personal life but about the book as well, but she STILL wrote it and sent it off to her editor. Quite the professional! Just as she said in her Autobiography, "There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don't want to, don't must like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well." 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • @trennie - As a matter of fact, according to her autobiography her mother died first. It was while she was sorting out all the belongings of her mother and previous generations in her mother's house, and her husband was staying in London - he refused to come to her on weekends so as not to miss his golf - that he fell in love with a young golf partner, then came down to her mother's house and told her he wanted a divorce. As for Mallowan - I haven't read any rumors of unfaithfulness, but the fact is he married his assistant shortly after AC's death, so they may have had a relationship beforehand. But it seems AC was very happy with him. And unfaithfulness ialso depends on a point of view.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    The documentary Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures states that Christie was treated by a psychiatrist during her divorce, but we have no idea who her doctor was.
  • As for Mallowan - I haven't read any rumors of unfaithfulness, but the fact is he married his assistant shortly after AC's death, so they may have had a relationship beforehand. But it seems AC was very happy with him. And unfaithfulness ialso depends on a point of view.
    It could be possible that Mallowan's assistant, Barbra Parker, was there for him the most when he lost dear Agatha. He said in his 1977 memoirs, “Agatha died peacefully and gently, leaving me with a feeling of emptiness after 45 years of a wonderful marriage.” And since Ms. Parker was there for him at a hard time in his life, she could've made such an impression on him and romantic feelings for her proceeded. We're so quick to assume that because he married her so soon after AC's death, that they must have had a romantic relationship beforehand or at least displayed romantic feelings for one another. That's more appealing to the curiosity of gossipy tongues and ears. That's the kind of stuff that would hit a gossip column, more so than the former. 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • HerculeAndAchilleHerculeAndAchille Harrogate, England ✭✭✭
    Agatha Christie may have suffered from other mental disorders as she grew older, as claimed by a study performed the University of Toronto. They analysed several of her novels for a variety of vocabulary (nouns, verbs, etc) and found a 15-30% decrease around the latter part of her life. Some have speculated that this led to a chronical depression, or at the very least, reduced comprehension and interaction with her surroundings. Her novel "Elephants Can Remember", according to psychologists, was referenced as perhaps evidence that she was defensive and in denial about her fading mental capacity, which may have led to more serious mental health problems.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.