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Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You Paperback – 21 Sep 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press (21 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285638025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285638020
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 21.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 868,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A clear understanding of the nature of depression and the struggles associated with it." -- Depression Alliance

"This well-written book imparts so much common sense and good advice that members and their carers are recommended to buy it." -- Depression UK

"To explore more self-help strategies to find the best mix now and to help prevent a recurrence of depression."
-- 'Woman's Weekly'

From the Author

what the author has to say
I wanted to write a book to address the issue of preventing depression. The emphasis is too often focused on treatment after someone has hit rock bottom. There is a sense that depression is something that happens to you without warning. I disagree. I think there is a warning - that people do lead a depressed lifestyle before they feel depressed - and that people should be encouraged to believe there is a lot they can do to avoid hitting bottom and to make their recovery much faster and more effective. And because of my own personal experience with depression, I feel a strong desire to help prevent people from suffering what my family and I have gone through. So I've tried to lay out a roadmap for people to follow through recovery. I've taken the "practice wisdom" of good psychotherapy and put it into a form that people can follow to help themselves as they deal with depression in their thinking, their behavior, their emotions, their relationships, and their self-image. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 May 2004
Format: Paperback
The author is quick the point out (and he is correct) that this book will not improve or cure depression by itself. You need professional help for that. Instead, the purpose of this book (which it magnificently addresses) is to describe what the depressed person and the depressed person's family and friends need to be doing to provide the maximum likelihood of overcoming depression. That's a reasonable promise and premise for a book on this important subject, and you can begin to overcome your ignorance (and the harm it can bring) by reading this book and acting on its advice.
First, the bad news. Depression is increasing. Worse still, the younger someone is, the more likely that the person will experience depression sometime. Even worse, many people are undiagnosed, and suffer alone with their affliction.
Second, the good news. Around 70 percent of all those suffering from depression will improve with either drug therapy or mental health treatments. Those who get both do even better.
Third, more bad news. Depression tends to recur for many people.
The voice addressing these issues is an expert one. He is a psychotherapist who runs a community health center. More importantly, he has suffered from depression himself. I doubt if you can get more direct access to what depression is all about than from Richard O'Connor. I admire his caring to share so much of his own pain with us, and respect him enormously for this gift he has given us all.
Depression is currently under reevaluation. No single paradigm seems to capture all of its elements. Undoubtedly, an improved scientific model for it will emerge.
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Format: Paperback
As a lifetime sufferer of depression, I've read my share of self-help books, most of which didn't seem to address the real problem and the terrible suffering in a way that I could translate into progress. This book opened up the mystery and offered just the most practical, everyday advice. I've been going around preaching it to my friends so much that they call it "The Book." Not to sound too effervescent, but even in the few weeks since I put his suggestions into effect, I've found myself laughing more: always a good sign. Really worth the time to read and reread if you or someone you love is tormented by this illness.
2 Comments 129 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This is not a lightweight book. Someone said it's a bit like a medical journal and they couldn't relate to the case studies (some of which are of lifetime depressives with lot's of suicide attempts etc)I can understand those comments and for that reviewer or those who've suddenly found themselves depressed for the first time ,I'd recommend "Depression: the curse of the strong" by Tim Cantopher.
This is very much targeted at those who've struggled with depression all their lives.It's especially good for those who may not even recognise it, but have just accommodated it in their life and think "this is who I am, this is the way things are".People who are "good at depression" and need to learn they can be "good at being happy" There are so many people who bear up under this ongoing depression, often very successfully but more often than not the weight gets heavier and their ability to carry it declines as time goes on and life throws inevitable banana skins in their path.
I found myself in that situation...suddenly finding that what I thought were lifelong essential characteristics of "me" (workoholism, anger, grumpiness, disappointment, anxiety, unwillingness to think about the future)suddenly became triggered into something catastrophically overwhelming. My "personality" was suddenly an "illness" needing bed rest, doctors, pills, hospitals etc! Pretty bloody frightening. This book helped me navigate that. I needed to UNDERSTAND in order to start doing something to help and this book gave me that basic navigation . Plus in doing so I was relieved to find out that millions of people had similar experiences and this was not just a "me thing".
The main messages are very hopeful: you were not just "born that way" and are not destined to suffer.
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Comment 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 29 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
The author states that this book is not a substitute for medication and therapy and it doesn't offer an easy cure for depression. If you are very depressed you may find the prospect of an intense self help program too much to face. If however you have taken the step to recognise that you can and must help yourself then this book is extremely useful. I found the authors understanding of depression to be very accute and his own personal experience of the illness meant that I never felt alienated or patronised. The explanation of the habits that depressed people fall into helpled me rationalise my experiences and appreciate that I can change whilst the advice on how to recognise these habits and challenge them is down to earth and practical without being too clinical and detached. No book can be the first step in recovery from depression but if you are preparing to face life again and you want to understand depression in order to live a full life and prevent further episodes then you may well find this book very helpful.
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