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A Mood ApartA Sadly Troubled HistoryActive Treatment of DepressionAdolescent DepressionAdult Bipolar DisordersAgainst DepressionAgents in My BrainAmerican ManiaAmerican MelancholyAn Unquiet MindArtificial HappinessBeating the BluesBefore ProzacBeyond BlueBiological UnhappinessBipolar DisorderBipolar Disorder DemystifiedBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar ExpeditionsBlaming the BrainBoy InterruptedBritain on the CouchCalm EnergyCase Studies in DepressionChange Your ThinkingChronic DepressionComprehending SuicideConquering Postpartum DepressionConquering the Beast WithinCry Depression, Celebrate RecoveryDamageDepressionDepression 101Depression and GlobalizationDepression and NarrativeDepression Doesn't Always Have to Be DepressingDepression FalloutDepression in ContextDepression Is a ChoiceDepression SourcebookDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepression, the Mood DiseaseDepression-Free for LifeDetourDiagnostic Issues in Depression and Generalized Anxiety DisorderDown Came the RainDowning Street BluesDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEight Stories UpElectroboyElectroshockEssential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar DisorderExperiences of DepressionFacing BipolarFast GirlFatal AttachmentsGetting Your Life BackGod HeadHandbook of DepressionHandbook of DepressionHello to All ThatHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHow Everyone Became DepressedHow I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill MeHurry Down SunshineI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!Journeys with the Black DogLeaving YouLet Them Eat ProzacLife InterruptedLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Lifting DepressionLifting the WeightLincoln's MelancholyLiving Without Depression and Manic DepressionLong ShotLucy Sullivan Is Getting MarriedMadnessMaking Sense of SuicideMalignant SadnessManiaManicManic DepressionManufacturing DepressionMelancholiaMindfulness for Urban Depression: Tools for Relief from Stressful City LivingMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMood GenesMoody Minds DistemperedMy DepressionNatural Healing for DepressionNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Hope For People With Bipolar DisorderNew Hope for People with DepressionNight Falls FastNovember of the SoulOn DepressionOn the Edge of DarknessOne in ThirteenOrdinarily WellOut of the BlueOutsmarting DepressionOvercoming DepressionPerfect ChaosPotatoes Not ProzacProzac and the New AntidepressantsProzac BacklashProzac HighwayProzac NationProzac NationPsychotic DepressionPuppy Chow Is Better Than ProzacQuiet Your Mind & Get to SleepRaising a Moody ChildReasons to Stay AliveScattershotSelf-CoachingSightlinesSilencing the Self Across CulturesSilent GriefSongs from the Black ChairSongs Without WordsSpeaking of SadnessSpontaneous HappinessStudent DepressionSubordination and DefeatSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSuicideSunbathing in the RainSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving Manic DepressionSwing LowSylvia Plath ReadsTalking Back to ProzacTaming Your Inner BratThe Aesthetics of DisengagementThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Mood DisordersThe Anatomy of MelancholyThe Anti-Depressant Fact BookThe Antidepressant EraThe Antidepressant SolutionThe Antidepressant Survival ProgramThe BeastThe Bell JarThe Best AwfulThe Bipolar ChildThe Bipolar Disorder Survival GuideThe Blue Day BookThe Breakthrough Depression SolutionThe Clinical Science of Suicide PreventionThe CorrectionsThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Depressed ChildThe Depression CureThe Depression WorkbookThe Devil WithinThe Emotional RevolutionThe Family SilverThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Forgotten MournersThe Loss of SadnessThe Memory of LightThe Mindful Way through DepressionThe Mood CureThe Myth of Depression as DiseaseThe Naked Bird WatcherThe Nature of MelancholyThe Noonday DemonThe Pits and the PendulumThe Postpartum EffectThe Secret Strength of DepressionThe Van Gogh BluesThe Van Gogh BluesThe Weariness of the SelfThe Years of Silence are PastThirteen Reasons WhyThis Close to HappyTo Walk on EggshellsTreatment for Chronic DepressionUndercurrentsUnderstanding DepressionUnderstanding DepressionUndoing DepressionUnhappy TeenagersUnholy GhostUnstuckViniyoga Therapy for DepressionWhat Goes UpWhat the Birds SeeWhat Works for Bipolar KidsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhen Words Are Not EnoughWhen Your Body Gets the BluesWhere the Roots Reach for WaterWhy Are You So Sad?Why People Die by SuicideWill's ChoiceWriting Through the DarknessYou Are Not AloneZelda

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Depression 101Review - Depression 101
A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse
by John D. Preston and Melissa Kirk
New Harbinger, 2010
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D.
Aug 31st 2010 (Volume 14, Issue 35)

Depression 101 is a simple yet surprisingly comprehensive self-help book designed to provide an action-oriented approach towards combating depression.  Authors John Preston and Melissa Kirk emphasize that treatment for depression is essential, noting that without appropriate treatment, a majority of those with depression are at risk to experience recurrent and/or chronic depression.  Although the authors maintain that the self-help strategies which they present are frequently successful, they emphasize that for those with severe depression, professional help is always essential, and thus they urge their readers to consider the various treatment options which they outline in the opening chapters.  At the start of the book, the authors also provide well-written yet succinct information on exactly "What is Depression?", including a discussion of the differences between clinical depression, sadness, and grief.

As mentioned above, Preston and Kirk encourage readers to be actively involved in their own treatment.  Thus each chapter which follows is filled with detailed, proven behavioral changes which those struggling with depression can implement in an attempt to produce a resulting improvement in mood.  Although the authors acknowledge that when one is depressed, one may have little motivation to attempt positive action, they make this process as easy as possible by providing specific advice as well offering useful exercises.  The areas of change which the authors address vary from making healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., sleep, nutrition, and exercise), incorporating cognitive strategies, enhancing self-esteem, managing intense emotions, improving social skills, to preventing relapse.  Particularly useful is the information on recognizing negative though patterns, the suggestions for clarifying one's own value system, the basic overview on developing a mindfulness practice, and the very detailed information on becoming more aware of body language and engaging in more adaptive social communication, both of which would be especially helpful to those experiencing some social anxiety in addition to depression.

In their discussion of relapse, Preston and Kirk emphasize two basics of self-care (sleep and exercise) as well as stress the importance of having a support person involved.  They also suggest goal-setting as a means of maintaining balance and continuing progress.  The authors conclude their book with two Appendices, one which lists Medical Disorders That Can Cause Depression and one which lists Drugs That Can Cause Depression.  (Note:  the authors strongly recommend that anyone with depression first see a medical professional for a complete physical to rule out possible medical causes for their depression.)  Overall, this short book (with References, it's just under 140 pages) offers just what it promises--i.e., a practical self-help guide to the treatment of depression.  As a psychologist working in a college counseling center, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to my student clients.

 

© 2010  Beth Cholette

 

 

 

Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.


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