From the Publisher
"An uncommonly thorough and useful guide."-Publishers Weekly"
Undoing Depression is distinguished by its common sense, its humanity, and its absence of dogmatism. It is a balanced and persuasive work that explores the dark predicament of depression, and the pathways toward help. I read it with great admiration."-William Styron, author of Darkness Visible and Sophie's Choice."
This is a vital and invaluable guide for people who are struggling with depression, as close as a book can come to the curative effects of psychotherapy and medication."-Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon"
Undoing Depression is a book that anyone who has ever felt depressed, to any degree, can keep nearby as a useful companion. If you are really depressed, chain it to your clothing. Beautifully written, full of dependable and inspiring information, it offers countless creative things to do in the face of depression without trying to conquer it or win battles and wars. The intelligence in this book is deeply satisfying."-Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul"
Essential reading for anyone who suffers from depression. The wisdom in these pages speaks directly to each individual, as if O'Connor knows exactly what we're going through. MDSG runs dozens of support groups each week and at our literature tables this is always the bestselling book. Packed with the latest research and fresh ideas, this new, updated edition hasn't lost the engaging style and compassion of the original."-Howard Smith, Director of Operations, Mood Disorders Support Group"
This up-to-date, clearly written and illuminating book about the nature and treatment of depression is just plain wonderful. I view it as a gift to us all."-Maggie Scarf, author of Unfinished Business, Intimate Partners, and Intimate Worlds
O'Connor (Happy at Last), formerly executive director of the Northwest Center for Family Service and Mental Health in Lakewood, CT, and now in private practice, here revises and updates his successful 1997 title on depression. Continuing his sensible analysis of how everyday habitual behaviors can fuel depression and the most effective skills for combating it, he adds two new chapters, one on the importance of meditation and positive thinking and the other on stress-related diseases and afflictions that have an impact on depression. In addition, he provides current information on newly released medications for depression, cognitive concerns regarding depression, the benefits of exercise in overcoming depression, the link between post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and new insights on the connection between depression and attention deficit disorder and emphasizes how his self-help exercises can assist psychotherapy in diminishing the need for psychoactive medications. VERDICT Though readers suffering from depression should consult a professional for the most appropriate mode of treatment, O'Connor's extensive experience and no-nonsense approach result in a refreshing new addition to the vast literature on depression that will be of value to helping professionals and erudite readers.—Dale Farris, Groves, TX
John M. Grohol
Richard O'Connor knows what he talks about in one of the most thorough,
comprehensive, and enjoyable books I've ever read on the beast we call
depression. As a therapist, a supervisor, an administrator, and perhaps
most importantly, as a human being. O'Connor brings more to this topic
than a simple recitation of facts and self-help methods. He brings the
human experience home to the reader, in a way few writers do in this
O'Connor warns in the introduction that this is a book filled with
stuff that the two distinct audiences (mental health professionals and
laypeople) may not ordinarily share. But as someone, like O'Connor, who
has grappled with the beast at one point in my life as well, I concur
with his recommendation -- the book is best read in its entirety,
skipping nothing. Each chapter offers not only in-depth and balanced
knowledge and information O'Connor imparts to the reader, but also a
good dose of humanity and caring. For instance, interspersed throughout
each chapter are personal stories from therapy, and clients' own
stories, bringing home specific, important points. It makes what might
otherwise be yet another impersonal self-help book (from a mental health
professional) into a relevant, useful guide easy to relate to aspects of
one's own life.
O'Connor's writing is fluid and down-to-earth; he never gets mired in
details losing the main point of his argument or discussion. He gives
specific examples throughout each chapter, and keeps everything
understandable while not minimizing the complexity of specific subjects.
The book seems to have struck a very good balance between information,
discussion, and related stories, keeping it interesting to read
The book is extensive, and its length may be off putting (especially to
those currently suffering from depression). But its length is also its
greatest strength, because it covers so many topics relating to
depression so well. Offering a single guide to depression is a big
undertaking, since depression infiltrates so many aspects of a person's
life. Undoing Depression, however, addresses nearly every one of the
most important aspects and gives sensible advice on how to improve them.
The book has 22 chapters covering topics such as: a background regarding
depression, what we currently know and understand about depression, how
it's diagnosed, what are some of the theories behind it, how people are
good at what they know (e.g., depression); how to start overcoming
depression by learning new skills regarding out emotions, behavior,
thinking, the self, and relationships; aids to recovery; how to put new
skills to work through self, work, love, marriage, families, divorce,
and community. The four parts of the book are well-organized and
logical, and it includes two indices: Organizations promoting recovery,
and a self-scoring depression questionnaire. The book ends with
footnotes for each chapter, a recommended reading list, and an index.
If you're suffering from depression and have tried other self-help
methods, books, tapes, psychotherapies, and medications, and you still
seem to be stuck in the depression rut, you should try this book. Take
it a few pages at a time, and you will get through it and glean
knowledge from it which will almost certainly help you in some aspect of
your life. While it won't perform miracles, it may be just what you need
to put your depressive feelings into perspective and turn your life
around. 358 pages