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Climbing Out of Depression: A Practical Guide to Real and Immediate Help

Climbing Out of Depression: A Practical Guide to Real and Immediate Help

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by Sue Atkinson

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A warm, simple, and practical guide to real and immediate help for those lost in the darkness of depression-written by someone who has experienced it and found a way out.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 17 million Americans suffer from depression. For many of these millions, climbing back out of the pit of gloom seems almost


A warm, simple, and practical guide to real and immediate help for those lost in the darkness of depression-written by someone who has experienced it and found a way out.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 17 million Americans suffer from depression. For many of these millions, climbing back out of the pit of gloom seems almost impossible. Depression often leaves its victims feeling paralyzed, numb, and alone. Climbing Out of Depression is a guide for everyone who is looking for practical help.

Unlike clinical books that approach depression from a theoretical, academic viewpoint, what makes this book distinctive is the fact that the author herself has suffered from depression for many years. Atkinson does not write as an expert, or as a depression counselor, but as someone who knows the feelings from close personal experience. Climbing Out of Depression is a handbook to offer immediate help for the mind, the body, and-with the author's gentle spiritual touch-also the soul. Topics covered in Climbing Out of Depression include the causes of depression; how to take action when life becomes too difficult; dealing with negativity; overcoming fear, worry, and panic; understanding anger; coping with loss; and much more.

Climbing Out of Depression is a tried-and-true tested book that incorporates strategies, tips, and success stories, many of the author herself. Written in easily grasped sections designed to be read for the limited concentration spans that often accompany depression, Atkinson leads the reader through the 'why' of depression and then offers 'how-to' suggestions based on firsthand proven techniques. Reading this book is similar to having a conversation with a compassionate friend, one who has 'been there' and knows what to say and how to help.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

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Table of Contents


Title Page

Copyright Page


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 35

Chapter 36 - Missing the foothold

Chapter 37 - Reaching the top

Chapter 38 - Now for the mountain!

Chapter 39 - On reflection



Further reading

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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England


Copyright © 1993, 2005 by Sue Atkinson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. Published simultaneously in Canada


Most Tarcher/Penguin books are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchase for sales, promotions, premiums, fund-raising, and educational needs. Special books or book excerpts also can be created to fit specific needs. For details, write Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Special Markets, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.


eISBN : 978-1-101-01557-5



Neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained in this book are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this book.


While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

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.

Meet the Author

SUE ATKINSON has also written several books published in the United Kingdom.

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