Cover image for Understanding depression
Understanding depression
Ainsworth, Patricia, M.D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 174 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
What is depression? -- Who gets depressed? -- The causes of depression -- What happens in the brain -- Treatment -- Helping the depressive -- Searching for a cure.
Reading Level:
1390 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC537 .A39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A clear explanation for those who know the illness personally and for those who want to understand them

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

There are many books about depression, but in terms of clarity, comprehensiveness, and practicality, Ainsworth's is one of the best. She describes symptoms of the various types of the devastating disease, discusses the many theories of its cause, and deals in a nonproselytizing manner with the broad variety of treatments for it. She calls depression "the great illusionist" and says that, though difficult to diagnose, it must, when identified, be treated aggressively. She presents the ways depression affects its sufferers at different ages and women, in particular, at the various stages of their lives. She also considers the social context of the disease; like many other mental diseases, depression comes with a stigma that sets its sufferers apart from other people. Ainsworth's levelheaded approach should help many depressed persons decide to seek professional help, not least because she disposes of widely accepted myths, offers practical tips for self-care and helping someone else, and appends helpful material on the many drugs involved in treatment. --William Beatty

Choice Review

This useful book will become a well-used resource in academic libraries serving undergraduate students. The author is a psychiatrist (Univ. of Mississippi Medical Center) who has not only treated depressed patients but also experienced depression in her immediate family. This background has enabled her to write an engaging, informative book filled with case examples and useful advice. Aisworth reviews the demographics of depression by describing who gets depressed under what conditions. The discussion of treatments is heavily weighted toward drug intervention, and psychotherapy merits only passing reference. Modern theories of depression are presented with an emphasis on biological approaches. The author provides a series of useful suggestions for family members dealing with a depressed individual along with specific advice for the depressed person. This excellent introduction to the topic is suitable for a wide audience of academic readers, from beginning undergraduates through graduate students, and for general readers. R. Madigan; University of Alaska, Anchorage

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
1. What Is Depression?p. 3
2. Who Gets Depressed?p. 22
3. The Causes of Depressionp. 48
4. What Happens in the Brainp. 62
5. Treatmentp. 78
6. Helping the Depressivep. 110
7. Searching for a Curep. 123
Appendicesp. 146
A. Sources of Additional Informationp. 146
B. Medicationsp. 153
Glossaryp. 157
Indexp. 171