I read this book in its first hardback incarnation when it was called The Depression Handbook; it was also a week before I went into hospital with. . .depression. It was tough-going, and I burst into tears more than once, but I don't blame her. I think this, like all her books, is packed with wisdom and compassion, together with a gritty realism which goes beyond the "there, there" approach to mental health which I, for one, find so patronizing. In insisting that depression is not an illness, or even a maladjustment, but a meaningful response to pain and fear which can be understood and then relinquished as more satisfying choices present themselves (if we have the courage to let them), she spoke to me even in the depths of despair. There were times when I feared I wouldn't be able to make the changes she recommends to heal myself, but hers is one of many voices of kind understanding that have helped me to do that. I don't agree with everything she says, and her views on religion have become more dogmatic over the years, but when she speaks about the experience of depression I find her hard to beat.
This audio tape is absolutely amazing: it takes you step by step, back to your childhood, your relationship with your parents, and explains how you build your sense of existence based on these experiences. Then she shows how most of us make wrong conclusions, and carry them to our adult life, which suddenly leads to anxiety and depression. Finally, she teaches how to break those bonds, and recover your freedom of being yourself, in the world. Amazing how it helped me. And her voice is so smooth and welcoming. I just can't stop goind back to the tapes when I am in boubt in my life.
This is one of Dorothy Rowe's older texts - still an excellent source of calm wisdom, but completely ruined by the meanness of the Harper Perrenial reprint from what looks like old substandard typeface. If you don't mind reading a book that looks as if it has been printed on blotting paper fine, but if this irritates you as much as it does me I suggest that you look for a second hand copy of a decent edition instead.