Helpful Books about Depression

View all Recommendations by Subjects > Depression book lists; This list was last updated on 8/13/2013
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Depression is not simply a temporary change in mood or a sign of weakness. It is a real medical condition with many emotional, physical, behavioural and cognitive symptoms. Depression is a real health problem for which help is available. Some amazing books have been written about depression—from how-to-help advice books to autobiographies written by people battling the “black dog”.  If you're interested in the topic, these books are worth checking out.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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1 - 22 of 22 results
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Unstuck
Despite the billions spent on prescription anti-depressant drugs and psychotherapy, people everywhere continue to grapple with depression. James Gordon, one of the nation's most respected psychiatrists, now offers a practical and effective way to get unstuck. Drawing on forty years of pioneering work, Unstuck is Gordon's seven-stage program for relief through food and nutritional supplements; Chinese medicine; movement, exercise, and dance; psychotherapy, meditation, and guided imagery; and spiritual practice. The result is a remarkable guide that puts the power to change in the hands of those ready to say "no" to suffering and drugs and "yes" to hope and happiness.
release date: Apr 01, 2003
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Depression Fallout

Using the vivid, poignant and personal stories of the members of a website support group she founded (www.depressionfallout.com), Anne Sheffield, the author of two highly acclaimed books on depression, provides an honest record of what happens to a love relationship once depression enters the picture, and offers solid advice on what the non–depressed partner can do to improve his or her own life and the relationship.

Of the millions of people who suffer from a depressive illness, few suffer in solitude. They draw the people they love – spouses, parents, children, lovers, friends – into their illness. In her first book, How You Can Survive When They're Depressed, Anne Sheffield coined the phrase 'depression fallout' to describe the emotional toll on the depressive's family and close friends who are unaware of their own stressful reactions and needs. She outlined the five stages of depression fallout (confusion, self–doubt, demoralisation, anger, and the need to escape) and explained that these reactions are a natural result of living with a depressed person.

release date: Oct 01, 2004
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Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time

What if depression weren't a disorder occurring on its own but was rather a kind of signpost pointing at tangible things you needed to change in your life? This would radically alter not only the way you think about depression but also the strategies you'd use to overcome it.

Behavioral activation therapy is built on this powerful, insightful assumption. Its techniques offer fast, effective relief from depression by guiding you to make positive and rewarding changes in your life. This simple, profound process reconnects you to the naturally occurring rewards of a well-lived life, which are powerful antidotes to feelings of depression.

The workbook's engaging exercises create a structured framework in which you are encouraged to focus on those activities that will inspire you with feelings of pleasure, mastery, and engagement. Learn to develop a list of enjoyable activities or activities you need to engage in as a part of a normal and satisfying life. Begin with the easiest (or sometimes, the most indispensable) activities on your list, and learn how to tackle them one by one.

This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.

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Depression
Depression: A Stubborn Darkness is Dr. Edward T. Welch's latest release in a series of ground-breaking best-selling counseling books that include When People Are Big and God is Small, Blame It on the Brain?, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave. Now in its third printing, Welch continues to further his reputation as an author who can speak to general consumers in a language they intuitively connect with on a deeply personal level. Endorsed by Joni Eareckson Tada, and Bob Lepine of FamilyLife, this book is targeted to the 18 million adult Americans who struggle with depression. Compassionate and compelling, the book lays out issues and answers with Welch's world view that faith needs to be interlaced with therapies and medication for conditions categorized as strictly clinical. The author weaves in questions scattered throughout the book to help the reader interact with the content and also offers suggestions for those who have loved ones struggling with depression.
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Self-Coaching
The simple, untold truth about anxiety and depression is that they are habits of insecurity—and, like all habits, they can be broken. In this new edition of the highly successful Self-Coaching, Dr. Joseph Luciani shows you how to change your way of thinking and develop a healthy, adaptive way of living through his proven Self-Talk strategy for coaching yourself back to health.
release date: Jan 06, 2004
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Talking to Depression
When someone suffers from depression, friends and family members naturally want to help—but too often their good intentions come out all wrong. This practical, compassionate guide helps readers understand exactly what their loved one is going through, and why certain approaches help and others have the potential to do damage. Talking to Depression offers specific advice on what to do and what not to do—and what to say and what not to say—to avoid frustration and give the kind of caring, effective support that will make a difference.
release date: Jan 07, 2010
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Undoing Depression
Like heart disease, says psychotherapist Richard O'Connor, depression is fueled by complex and interrelated factors: genetic, biochemical, environmental. In this refreshingly sensible book, O'Connor focuses on an additional factor often overlooked: our own habits. Unwittingly we get good at depression. We learn how to hide it, how to work around it. We may even achieve great things, but with constant struggle rather than satisfaction. Relying on these methods to make it through each day, we deprive ourselves of true recovery, of deep joy and healthy emotion.

UNDOING DEPRESSION teaches us how to replace depressive patterns with a new and more effective set of skills. We already know how to "do" depression-and we can learn how to undo it. With a truly holistic approach that synthesizes the best of the many schools of thought about this painful disease, O'Connor offers new hope-and new life-for sufferers of depression.
release date: Jun 01, 2012
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The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely used treatment for depression for one simple reason: it works. The CBT program in this workbook has helped thousands of readers defeat the depressive thoughts and beliefs that keep them from enjoying life and feeling like themselves. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression delivers evidence-based tools you can confidently use to do better, feel better, and prevent depression from coming back.

Through a series of worksheets and exercises, you'll evaluate your depression and learn key skills for overcoming it. Once you have your depression symptoms under control, you will appreciate the additional information on preventing relapse that is special to this new edition. This workbook also includes twenty-five bonus tips from depression experts that can jump-start your recovery. Recommended by therapists nationwide, this workbook will help you bounce back from depression, one solid step at a time.

Includes worksheets and exercises that will help you:
• Move past the negative beliefs about yourself that keep you trapped in the depression cycle
• Apply behavioral techniques that therapists use with their clients, such as activity scheduling
• Discover effective ways to cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and anger
• Avoid procrastinating and learn to anchor the positive changes you make to maintain your progress

“Chock-full of the ready-to-use strategies you will need to help you feel good again.”
—Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, Distinguished Professor at Governors State University

This book has received the prestigious accolade of being included in The Albert Ellis Tribute Book Series—created to honor the life and work of Albert Ellis, the founder of rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT). REBT is one of the most widely-practiced therapies throughout the world and is the foundation for cognitive-behavioral therapy and other evidence-based approaches. These books provide proven-effective treatments and tools to improve psychological well-being, while also supporting advancements in psychotherapy for the betterment of humanity.

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A Long Way Down
Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.
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More Than Moody
One of the nation's most distinguished child and adolescent psychiatrists shows parents the warning signs, risk factors, and key symptoms that offer important clues about depression. He also illustrates a broad range of treatment options including SSRI antidepressants as well as non-pharmaceutical approaches such as cognitive behavior therapy. With solid advice and compelling real-life stories, More Than Moody is an invaluable resource.
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The Mindful Way through Depression
If you've ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness once and for all.

In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life's challenges with greater resilience. Jon Kabat-Zinn gently and encouragingly narrates the accompanying CD of guided meditations, making this a complete package for anyone seeking to regain a sense of hope and well-being.
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The Black Veil
In this searing, brilliantly acclaimed memoir, one of the most admired writers of his generation reveals how a decade of alcohol, drugs, and other indulgences led him not to the palace of wisdom but to a psychiatric hospital in one of New York's less exalted boroughs.
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Unholy Ghost

Unholy Ghost is a unique collection of essays about depression that, in the spirit of William Styron's Darkness Visible, finds vivid expression for an elusive illness suffered by more than one in five Americans today. Unlike any other memoir of depression, however, Unholy Ghost includes many voices and depicts the most complete portrait of the illness. Lauren Slater eloquently describes her own perilous experience as a pregnant woman on antidepressant medication. Susanna Kaysen, writing for the first time about depression since Girl, Interrupted, criticizes herself and others for making too much of the illness. Larry McMurtry recounts the despair that descended after his quadruple bypass surgery. Meri Danquah describes the challenges of racism and depression. Ann Beattie sees melancholy as a consequence of her writing life. And Donald Hall lovingly remembers the "moody seesaw" of his relationship with his wife, Jane Kenyon.

The collection also includes an illuminating series of companion pieces. Russell Banks's and Chase Twichell's essays represent husbandand-wife perspectives on depression; Rose Styron's contribution about her husband's struggle with melancholy is paired with an excerpt from William Styron's Darkness Visible; and the book's editor, Nell Casey, juxtaposes her own essay about seeing her sister through her depression with Maud Casey's account of this experience. These companion pieces portray the complicated bond -- a constant grasp for mutual understandingforged by depressives and their family members.

With an introduction by Kay Redfield Jamison, Unholy Ghost allows the bewildering experience of depression to be adequately and beautifully rendered. The twenty-two stories that make up this book will offer solace and enlightenment to all readers.

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What to Do When Someone You Love Is Depressed, Second Edition

A clinical psychologist and expert on depression updates the book that has helped thousands with its combination of professional advice and comfort

There are few circumstances in life as hard and at the same time as important as being a friend to a person who is suffering from depression. What to Do When Someone You Love Is Depressed offers guidance to the friends and family of a depressed person on how to keep one's own spirits up and at the same time do what is best to help a loved one get through a difficult time. Among the many subjects addressed are
• the warning signs of serious illness
• how to maintain intimacy and communication
• the most successful forms of treatment
• what to do when someone threatens suicide
This updated edition addresses readers' questions and provides new and expanded information on
• how to choose the right psychiatrist
• the role and limits of medication
• resistant depression
• the link between depression and chronic illness
• specific challenging situations and advice on handling them

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The Bell Jar

A Special Paperback Edition to Commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Publication of Sylvia Plath's Remarkable Novel

Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

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Girl, Interrupted
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.

Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Prozac Nation
"A book that became a cultural touchstone." -- The New Yorker

Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger in the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. In this famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.

 
release date: Aug 12, 1988
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A Fan's Notes
This fictional memoir, the first of an autobiographical trilogy, traces a self professed failure's nightmarish decent into the underside of American life and his resurrection to the wisdom that emerges from despair.
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The Noonday Demon
Winner of the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease.

He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations -- around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Solomon takes readers on a journey of incom-parable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.
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Listening to Prozac
Since it was introduced in 1987, Prozac has been prescribed to nearly five million Americans. But what is Prozac? A medication or a mental steroid? A cure for depression, or a drug that changes personality? Reported to turn shy people into social butterflies and to improve work performance, memory, even dexterity, does Prozac work on character rather than illness? Are we using it cosmetically, to make people more attractive, more energetic, more socially acceptable? And what does it tell us about the nature of character and the mutability of self? With the addition of an afterword that gives us an up-to-date report on Prozac in America today, including his personal observations, reactions to his critics, and the latest scientific research, psychiatrist Peter Kramer reinforces what The New York Times calls 'an intelligent and informative book...which tells us new things about the chemistry of human character.'

Dr. Kramer was recently asked to guest host The Infinite Mind, a weekly public radio show focusing on the art and science of the human mind and spirit, behavior, and mental health. Listen to the show now.

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Darkness Visible
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.
release date: Feb 01, 2000
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Telling Yourself the Truth
Most of What Happens in Your Life Happens Because of the Way You Think. Wrong thinking produces wrong emotions, wrong reactions, wrong behavior-and unhappiness! Learning to deal with your thoughts is the first step on the road to healthy thinking. How to handle one's thoughts properly is what this book is all about! It explains the life-changing method the authors call Misbelief Therapy, and it can work for you. In your home In your own circumstances In your own problems In your own adverse environment In your own thinking Based on the Bible, this book has helped thousands of people for many years, and it can help you! Telling Yourself the Truth can show you how to identify your own misbeliefs and replace them with the truth. Also available: the corresponding Telling Yourself the Truth study guide. Winner of the Gold Book Award (500,000 copies sold), Winner of the Gold Medallion Award (E.C.P.A.), which recognizes excellence in evangelical Christian literature
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