LEIGH FORBES: Books of all Sorts

Making Peace with Depression: A warm and wise companion to recovery

by Sarah Rayner, Kate Harrison,
and Patrick Fitzgerald.

A perfect book for people who feel controlled by depression: a superbly structured and well thought-out guide to the issues involved – without the pages of dry theory or patronising dictates, or list of should-dos and unrealistic expectations to add to the overwhelm. Making Friends with Depression offers just the right amount of information to help you understand what’s going on inside your brain and body, and ideas for how you can help yourself.

Sarah Rayner, and co-author Kate Harrison, detail different aspects of D.E.P.R.E.S.S.I.O.N. They look at the make-up of depression itself, when to seek help (and what kind of help to ask for), the connection between mental and physical symptoms, ways to identify and change depression-fueling thoughts and behaviour, the value of self-esteem (touching on the influence of abusive relationships – a topic in desperate need of recognition), why we sometimes self-destruct (and ways not to), the value of creativity in recovery, and how – amongst other things – accepting the idea of relapses helps you stay well.

Having thought I already knew everything I wanted to know about depression, I found this book extremely helpful and thought-provoking; it’s possibly the best guide I’ve ever read on the subject. Rayner and Harrison guide you – like friends – through manageably small steps, each with the potential to get you closer to wellness, and I recommend this to anyone who has ever struggled with depression.

Note: while I subsequently worked with this author on a number of different titles, I had already read and reviewed this book before meeting her.


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