Book Review: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me by Anna Mehler Paperny

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person - Kindle  edition by Mehler Paperny, Anna. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me – Depression in the First Person // by Anna Mehler Paperny

Pub Day: March 31, 2020

Publisher: The Experiment


In her early twenties, investigative journalist Anna Mehler Paperny had already landed her dream job. On the surface, her life was great. Nevertheless, she spiraled out, attempted suicide (the first of more attempts to follow), and landed in the ICU and then in a psych ward before setting out to tackle her recovery.

In Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me, Mehler Paperny turns her journalist’s eye on her own experience and others’—in the ward; as an outpatient; facing family, friends, and coworkers; finding the right meds; trying to stay insured and employed. She interviews psychiatrists and other experts to reveal how primitive our methods of healing the brain still are—and provides an invaluable guide to a system struggling, and often failing, to help those in need. At once heartrending and humorous, outraging and serious, this is essential reading for anyone touched by depression—and that’s everyone.

My Thoughts:

I have had this one on my TBR list for a while and I hate that it took me this long to get to it because it is a really good book with so many really important messages. I have always liked memoirs that teach me something and this one really blows it out of the water in that aspect. We get to hear a lot about Paperny’s own life of course but she regularly interspersed it with information about depression in general and suicide specifically. The first part of the book was like you would expect a memoir to be in that sense, having that extra information here and there, but later in the book, that switched around: It now was more of a book about suicide with occasional personal experiences mixed it. While I personally loved all of that, it may not be what other people expect from it since it is marketed as just a memoir rather than a non-fiction book about this topic.

She regularly tells us about how she reached out to the people she spoke to for this book and I am blown away at all the research she did to make this as comprehensive and educational as possible. She is a white woman herself and recognizes the privileges that come with that, but that did not stop her from thoroughly researching this topic with a focus on people of color, indigenous communities, and children as well, just to name a few. While I obviously hate that she went through all of this, I still found it very fascinating and loved learning so much about it. I struggle with depression myself and some parts really struck home. While I have never seriously considered suicide myself, it still felt like she was speaking directly to me sometimes. Despite all this serious information from anecdotes, scientific research, authors, and experts, it was presented in a way that was engaging and easily understood. She also has a somewhat dry and morbid sense of humor that lightens up the seriousness here and there.

Extra for Audiobook:

This audiobook was really well done. I am so glad that I found this title at my library and chose to listen to it instead. Kirsten Potter was the perfect narrator for this. She presented the information very matter of factly but also made the personal experiences sound just like I would’ve imagined Paperny telling them with her dry and morbid sense of humor. I also liked that she spoke clearly enough that I could listen to the audiobook at a faster speed whenever I wanted to.

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me | CBC Books

About the Author:

Anna Mehler Paperny is an award-winning reporter for Reuters based in Toronto. She’s chased stories ranging from the opioid crisis to migration, from post-quake Haiti to Guantanamo Bay. She’s written for the Kingston Whig-Standard, the Edmonton Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Maclean’s Magazine, and has been a staff reporter at The Globe and Mail and a reporter-editor for Global News, where she developed’s award-winning Investigative Data Desk. Her work on deaths in Canadian prisons won an RTDNA Dan McArthur Award for investigative journalism.

About the Publisher:

The Experiment is an independent publisher, launched in 2009, focused on a wide range of nonfiction—much of it practical—including food (and how to grow, cook, and enjoy it), health and fitness, psychology and personal development, parenting, relationships, sexuality, personal finance, science, and nature. We’re called The Experiment because every book is a test of new ideas—and because we’re motivated by the curiosity and wonder of the unknown that drive every scientific experiment.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 170 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.

For more info:

Options For Deaf + Hard of Hearing:

For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.

If you need help, call: 1-800-273-8255

Remember the Stars - KnightConnect

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me by Anna Mehler Paperny

Add yours

    1. I hope you’ll enjoy it! It made me super emotional several times but I also learned SO MUCH. It even helped me a little bit at my own dr appointment yesterday! And don’t worry, I loved the humor too! 😂🤭

      Liked by 1 person

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