Read an Excerpt
Table of Contents
Preface to the new edition
Part 1 - Rock Climbing for Lemmings
Chapter 1 - Instant cures?
Chapter 2 - Why rock climbing?
Part 2 - How Did I Get Here?
Chapter 3 - Sitting on the rocks at the foot of the cliff
Chapter 4 - Finding the cave: ideas for the very bad days
Chapter 5 - What is depression?
Chapter 6 - What causes depression?
Chapter 7 - Being kind to ourselves
Part 3 - Is Climbing for Me?
Chapter 8 - Someone to talk to
Chapter 9 - The “good enough” principle
Chapter 10 - Strategies for living
Chapter 11 - What about professional therapy?
Chapter 12 - Preparing for the bad days
Chapter 13 - Clarifying our coping strategies
Part 4 - First Steps
Chapter 14 - How can I get started?
Chapter 15 - What preparations can I make?
Chapter 16 - Things we need to take
Chapter 17 - Life is difficult
Chapter 18 - Things to leave behind
Chapter 19 - Negative thinking
Part 5 - Hanging On
Chapter 20 - Getting to know ourselves
Chapter 21 - Emotions are okay
Chapter 22 - Overcoming fear, worry, and panic
Chapter 23 - Understanding our anger
Chapter 24 - Managing guilt
Chapter 25 - Understanding how we see ourselves: our self-esteem
Chapter 26 - Boosting our self-esteem
Chapter 27 - Understanding the “losses” in our lives
Chapter 28 - Understanding stresses
Chapter 29 - Fears
Part 6 - Falling Off
Chapter 30 - Falling off
Part 7 - Making Progress
Chapter 31 - Picking ourselves up and having another go
Chapter 32 - Using our dreams to help us
Chapter 33 - Loneliness
Chapter 34 - Reaching the overhang and facing the impossible
Chapter 36 - Missing the foothold
Chapter 37 - Reaching the top
Chapter 38 - Now for the mountain!
Chapter 39 - On reflection
JEREMY P. TARCHER / PENGUIN
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Copyright © 1993, 2005 by Sue Atkinson
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eISBN : 978-1-101-01557-5
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For those who held on to the lifeline when the going was tough,
for those who sat with me at the bottom of the cliff and held my hand,
and for those who showed me,
by their love,
that the climb was worthwhile
Preface to the new edition
It has been so thrilling to meet and talk to depressed people and their caregivers since Climbing Out of Depression was first published twelve years ago. People from all over the world have written to me, and I’ve made some good friends through those letters. I have asked some of these people to make suggestions as to how the book could be improved.
I’ve tried to incorporate a number of those suggestions into this new edition, but some information is better found elsewhere. For example, I didn’t think I should focus on medication. Such information gets out of date, and it is best to talk to a doctor or look at the Depression Alliance website.
What has changed?
I have seen such dramatic change in some depressed people (including myself), and that is something for all of us to hold on to.
We can and do change!
Some people I have met resist that change with great energy and vigor. Others have steadily improved to the point where they can completely turn their lives around.
Some go back to work.
Some make much better relationships.
Some start up a new self-help group for other depressed people.
Some say how much they enjoy being fit enough to laugh and play with their children or go out with their friends.
What’s new in this edition?
In this second edition of the book, I have made some changes to the text, either where I felt it important to add to my new understanding of depression or where I have changed my mind!
Now that I run workshops (as a sufferer, not a trained professional) with depressed people, caregivers, and counselors, I’ve learned much from brave and struggling people, and from those who care for them. Thank you so much to those people who have helped me make this new edition clearer and more up-to-date.
I’ve added much more about coping strategies to manage our depression better. This was one of the most requested topics at sessions I’ve run for self-help groups, and I have started working on these strategies also with groups of counselors.