Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing

Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing

4.8 5
by Deborah Serani
     
 

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One out of four Americans will experience mental illness in their lifetime; major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 15 through 44. However, only a fraction of those suffering will seek treatment; 25 percent will seek treatment for symptoms. Stigma claims the other 75 percent, wedging depressed individuals into a life

Overview

One out of four Americans will experience mental illness in their lifetime; major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 15 through 44. However, only a fraction of those suffering will seek treatment; 25 percent will seek treatment for symptoms. Stigma claims the other 75 percent, wedging depressed individuals into a life of silent suffering.

In Living with Depression, Serani outlines the various forms of depression, describes the different treatments, and outlines methods for living with depression and getting the help you or a loved one needs. Tips on how to choose a good therapist, negotiate the labyrinth of healthcare, and minimize stigma are addressed, as is learning how to use biology and biography as tools of empowerment. Listings of national and global resources make this a ready resource for everything you need to know about depression.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New York psychologist Serani helps patients understand their depression by first understanding what depression is, and then how to navigate the complex system of seeking effective treatment. In the first chapter, Serani shares her own experience with debilitating depression with hopes that her experience "will serve as an encouraging reminder that depression can be treated." As she moves into the more scientific sections of the book, she uses examples from her personal and professional experiences to provide more rounded explanations. She understands and acknowledges the reserves people have about using medication and consciously addresses the different treatments with that in mind. The aim of this book is to help patients come to terms with the diagnosis and the attendant stigma attached. A list of high profile people with mood disorders serves to demonstrate its commonality but really only cheapens Serani's cause. Much of the focus is on being proactive and utilizing available resources. There is a brief chapter devoted to alternative treatment, which she endorses, but for the most part, Serani seems to promote pharmacological treatments as making the most sense in certain cases (including hers). While the intentions are clear, Serani's mix of memoir and resource may prevent readers from connecting with her. (July)
Patrick Corrigan
Serani offers a guide book with a soul. She clearly writes of the trials of major depression and the promise of science. She does so as a gutsy clinical psychologist who shares the wisdom made from her suffering, not just from her training. She rarely shrank from the challenges of mental illness however they appeared, which will serve as an inspiration to most readers. Her comments on the roadblocks of stigma remind us that the pain of depression, and most mental illness, arises not solely from the illness, but from the harsh response society has to people with these disorders.
Michelle Linn-Gust Ph.D
As someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, I know the accompanying journey of depression and hopelessness well. I also know the fear of sharing that journey with others. Deborah Serani courageously shares her path of despair to hope and healing with the intent of helping others from what she has learned and experienced. She also does it to continue to break the stigma that needlessly surrounds mental illness. In Living with Depression, she succeeds with her messages of hope. May this book reach the far corners of both people who suffer from mental illness and those who need to understand it.
Jessie Close
I found Living with Depression to be not only fascinating but, since the author suffers from depression herself, also compassionate, understanding and informative. Bravo!
Delta Burke
Sometimes, with the best of intentions and efforts, psychological professionals can't get across essential information to their patients. Living with Depression bridges that gap in communication. I wish this book had been around when I first began to deal with depression—and I will still use it as a guidebook in the future. Patients can benefit from the doctor's perspective and doctors can learn from their patients. That both are the same gifted author is a blessing to all who deal with mental illness.
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
This book is a rare find. Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing manages to explain depression in terms of human biology and experience without downplaying either aspect....Not only does Living with Depression give a truly holistic view of depression and its treatments, it gives it in an easily understandable format....Perhaps most impressive is how the author has also included a section on how to find a therapist, doctor, and alternative treatment—often the biggest hurdle for people seeking treatment. She also describes how to find affordable medication and tips on communicating with insurance companies. These issues are often omitted from books, so while readers may end up understanding their illness, they have no idea what to do about it....Living with Depression is not a medical or psychological treatise, it is perhaps something better: an easy, comprehensive explanation of depression and how to get help.
Newsday
It delivers—with details about her own depression and treatment woven into a useful primer geared to the suffering and their families....Her advice extends beyond the usual.
NAMI Advocate
This book is a rare find. Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing manages to explain depression in terms of human biology and experience without downplaying either aspect....Not only does Living with Depression give a truly holistic view of depression and its treatments, it gives it in an easily understandable format....Perhaps most impressive is how the author has also included a section on how to find a therapist, doctor, and alternative treatment—often the biggest hurdle for people seeking treatment. She also describes how to find affordable medication and tips on communicating with insurance companies. These issues are often omitted from books, so while readers may end up understanding their illness, they have no idea what to do about it....Living with Depression is not a medical or psychological treatise, it is perhaps something better: an easy, comprehensive explanation of depression and how to get help.
Foreword Reviews
An extremely well-written exploration of the illness....This resource-rich guidebook outlines the forms of depression, covers various treatments, offers guidance on choosing a therapist, and helps readers navigate health-care challenges like insurance reimbursement. Serani begins on a very personal note, relating her own struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, followed by a decades-long search for the right treatment. Her frustration is likely to resonate with others who feel that depression is controlling their lives, and the subsequent chapters on how to live with the illness are likely to provide comfort and empowerment.
Psychology Today
Her strategies are concrete, concise and compassionate. Ranging from simple tips like being consistent withmedicationand not skipping scheduled therapy sessions to complex issues such as creating asuicide prevention plan and effectively dealing with stigma.
ForeWord Reviews
An extremely well-written exploration of the illness....This resource-rich guidebook outlines the forms of depression, covers various treatments, offers guidance on choosing a therapist, and helps readers navigate health-care challenges like insurance reimbursement. Serani begins on a very personal note, relating her own struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, followed by a decades-long search for the right treatment. Her frustration is likely to resonate with others who feel that depression is controlling their lives, and the subsequent chapters on how to live with the illness are likely to provide comfort and empowerment.
Library Journal
Psychologist Serani shares her own experience and related research in an effort to help all those suffering from depression to understand the disease and negotiate the labyrinth of health-care options and stigma attached to depression. She advocates knowing one's triggers, avoiding toxic people, staying connected with support systems, and making a plan to thwart suicide attempts. Serani offers validity and help to those who suffer from mood disorders but feel ashamed or don't know where to turn for help. This is a valuable resource with the potential to save lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442210585
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/16/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
565,525
File size:
720 KB

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What People are saying about this

Michelle Linn-Gust
As someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, I know the accompanying journey of depression and hopelessness well. I also know the fear of sharing that journey with others. Deborah Serani courageously shares her path of despair to hope and healing with the intent of helping others from what she has learned and experienced. She also does it to continue to break the stigma that needlessly surrounds mental illness. In Living with Depression, she succeeds with her messages of hope. May this book reach the far corners of both people who suffer from mental illness and those who need to understand it.
Jessie Close
I found Living with Depression to be not only fascinating but, since the author suffers from depression herself, also compassionate, understanding and informative. Bravo!
Delta Burke
Sometimes, with the best of intentions and efforts, psychological professionals can't get across essential information to their patients. Living with Depression bridges that gap in communication. I wish this book had been around when I first began to deal with depression—and I will still use it as a guidebook in the future. Patients can benefit from the doctor's perspective and doctors can learn from their patients. That both are the same gifted author is a blessing to all who deal with mental illness.
Patrick Corrigan
Serani offers a guide book with a soul. She clearly writes of the trials of major depression and the promise of science. She does so as a gutsy clinical psychologist who shares the wisdom made from her suffering, not just from her training. She rarely shrank from the challenges of mental illness however they appeared, which will serve as an inspiration to most readers. Her comments on the roadblocks of stigma remind us that the pain of depression, and most mental illness, arises not solely from the illness, but from the harsh response society has to people with these disorders.

Meet the Author

Dr. Deborah Serani is a psychologist in private practice in New York. She has appeared as an expert on various media outlets including MSNBC.com, MedScape.com, ABC News, Medscape, All You magazine, Newsday, Baby Talk magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, USAToday.com, Wall Street Journal Health Blog, Washington Post Health Blog, HealthCentral.com, and many more. She has also published articles in academic journals.

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Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
OneFrogCan More than 1 year ago
By sharing her own experience with depression, combined with her wealth of knowledge regarding available treatments, Deb weaves an accessible work that's a must read for anyone experiencing depression or dealing with the depression of another. I found this book very helpful personally and have recommended it to many people. It's my go-to book on the subject.
davdunc More than 1 year ago
Excellent book for depression sufferers and their friends and families to better understand the struggle with the illness that is increasingly affecting many people's lives and their relationships with one another. Well, what are you waiting for?...Go get it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago