Cover image for Depression for dummies
Depression for dummies
Smith, Laura L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, NJ : Wiley Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 362 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC537 .S583 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"What do you have to be depressed about?" Bet you've heard that one before. Or how about, "You're depressed? Just get over it!" Easier said than done, right? Or here's a favorite, "They have a pill for that now, you know."

Unfortunately, such naïve armchair psychology rarely works for someone suffering from the very real plight of depression. All it does is seek to trivialize depression and characterize depressed people as "whiners" who have nothing better to do than to "complain about their lives." But the truth is, depression is a very real problem. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that, on any given day, 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. And depression rates continue to increase - for example, kids exhibit depression at nearly ten times the rate of previous generations. Theories abound as to why depression rates are increasing, but regardless of the cause, this scourge continues to rob its victims of happiness, joy, and the capacity to give and receive love.

So why Depression For Dummies , when there's already a glut of self-help books on the market peddling so-called cures and remedies for depression? Because this book satisfies the need for a straight-talking, no-nonsense resource on depression. The only agenda of Depression For Dummies is to present you with the facts on depression and explain the options for dealing with it. Rest assured, this is no infomercial in a yellow and black cover.

Here's just a sampling of what you'll find in Depression For Dummies:

Demystifying the types of depression Discovering what goes on in the body of a depressed person Detecting and diagnosing depression Seeking help through therapy and medication Modifying depressed behavior and solving life's headaches Dealing with depression resulting from grief and relationship issues Cutting through the hype of alternative treatments for depression Moving beyond depression: Avoiding relapses and pursuing a happy life Top Ten lists on getting rid of a your bad mood and helping your kids and other family members out of depression

So, whatever your level of depression - whether you suffer from occasional bouts or you find yourself seriously debilitated by depression - Depression For Dummies can give you the insight and tools you need to once again find enjoyment and happiness in life. All it takes is one step.

Author Notes

Laura L. Smith, PhD and Charles H. Elliott, PhD are both international speakers who have clinical practices specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
A Note to Our Depressed Readersp. 2
Conventions Used in This Bookp. 2
About This Bookp. 2
Foolish Assumptionsp. 3
How This Book Is Organizedp. 4
Icons Used in This Bookp. 6
Where to Go from Herep. 6
Part I Discovering Depression and Preparing a Planp. 7
Chapter 1 Demystifying and Defeating Depressionp. 9
Just Singing the Blues or Depressed?p. 9
The Varying Faces of Depressionp. 10
Adding Up the Costs of Depressionp. 14
Feeling Good Againp. 17
Feeling Better than Goodp. 20
Celebrating Sadnessp. 20
Chapter 2 Detecting Depressionp. 21
Recognizing the Ravages of Depressionp. 22
The Six Plagues of Depressionp. 27
Connecting Drugs, Diseases, and Depressionp. 36
Good Grief? Is Depression Ever Normal?p. 38
Digging Out the Causes of Depressionp. 39
Monitoring Moodp. 41
Chapter 3 Breaking Barriers to Changep. 45
Rummaging Through the Reasons for Avoidancep. 46
Saving Yourself from Self-Limitationsp. 59
Chapter 4 Finding Help for Depressionp. 67
Stumbling onto a Solutionp. 67
Exploring the Self-Help Optionp. 68
Pursuing the Psychotherapy Optionp. 70
Talking to a Professional about Antidepressant Medicationp. 76
Part II Untwisting Your Thinking: Thought Therapyp. 81
Chapter 5 Discovering Depression-Driven Thinkingp. 83
Thinking about Cognitive Therapyp. 83
Tracking Thoughts, Feelings, and the Related Events in Your Lifep. 85
Digging Up Distortions in Thinkingp. 89
Chapter 6 Breaking Up the Dark Clouds of Depressive Thinkingp. 105
Thought Court Is Now in Sessionp. 106
Opening a Thought-Repair Toolkitp. 118
Chapter 7 Discovering the Cracked Lenses Behind Depressionp. 127
Looking Closely at the Mechanics of Life-Lensesp. 128
Searching for Your Mind's Life-Lensesp. 132
Breaking Problematic Life-Lensesp. 135
Writing New Prescriptions for Clear Lensesp. 140
Chapter 8 Mending Your Memoryp. 149
Making Sense of Memoryp. 150
Depressing Disruptionsp. 151
Worrying About Forgettingp. 153
Boosting Broken Memoryp. 154
Part III Taking Action Against Depression: Behavior Therapyp. 159
Chapter 9 Getting Out of Bedp. 161
Taking Actionp. 161
Putting One Foot in Front of the Other: Activity Logsp. 163
Conquering Can'tsp. 166
Charting Your Course through Negative Predictionsp. 168
Giving Yourself Creditp. 170
Chapter 10 Working Out to Lift Depressionp. 173
Introducing Endorphins into Your Lifep. 174
Conquering Couch Potato-itisp. 175
Easing into Exercisep. 177
Weighing Your Exercise Optionsp. 178
Chapter 11 Rediscovering Healthy Pleasuresp. 181
Taking Fun Seriouslyp. 181
Making a List and Checking It Twicep. 182
Fighting the Pleasure Bustersp. 184
Chapter 12 Solving Life's Headachesp. 191
Drawing Up the Problem-Solving Game Plan--S.O.C.C.E.R.p. 192
Assessing Your Problem Situation (S)p. 193
Foraging for Options (O)p. 195
Contemplating Consequences (C)p. 199
Choosing Your Poison (C)p. 200
Handling Your Emotions (E)p. 203
Running and Reviewing (R)p. 205
Part IV Rebuilding Connections: Relationship Therapyp. 207
Chapter 13 Working Through Loss, Grief, and Mourningp. 209
Losing What You Care Aboutp. 210
Working Through Griefp. 215
Chapter 14 Relationship Enhancementp. 221
The Depression-Rejection Connectionp. 222
Pursuing Positivesp. 224
Defeating Defensivenessp. 228
Getting Your Message Acrossp. 232
Part V Fighting the Physical Foe: Biological Therapiesp. 237
Chapter 15 Prescribing Pleasurep. 239
Hammering Depression: Choosing the Right Tool for Youp. 240
Exploring the Medication Optionp. 241
Working with Your Doctor to Find the Correct Medicationp. 245
Brushing Up on Biologyp. 246
Deciphering Drugs for Depressionp. 248
Looking Beyond Antidepressantsp. 255
Chapter 16 Hype, Help, or Hope? Alternative Treatments for Depressionp. 259
Keeping Your Doc in the Loopp. 260
Swallowing Supplements and Herbsp. 260
Vibrancy from Vitamins and Mineralsp. 263
Happy Foodsp. 264
Lighting Up the Darknessp. 265
Treating Severe Depressionp. 266
Searching Furtherp. 269
Part VI Looking Beyond Depressionp. 271
Chapter 17 Reducing the Risk of Relapsep. 273
Risking Relapse with Depressionp. 274
Preparing a Prevention Planp. 277
Reining in Relapse When It Occursp. 285
Chapter 18 Confronting Depression with Mindfulnessp. 287
Drawing the Line Between You and Your Mindp. 288
Losing Your Mindp. 288
Living Mindfullyp. 295
Chapter 19 Pursuing Happiness Through Positive Psychologyp. 305
Hunting Down Happinessp. 306
Getting on the Right Path to Real Happinessp. 308
Part VII The Part of Tensp. 321
Chapter 20 Ten Ways Out of a Bad Moodp. 323
Chomping on Chocolatep. 323
Doing Something Nicep. 324
Getting a Lift from Exercisep. 324
Singing Yourself into a Better Moodp. 324
Calling a Long-Lost Friendp. 325
Dancing to a Different Beatp. 325
Soaking the Blues Awayp. 325
Petting Your Way to a Better Moodp. 325
Taking a Hikep. 326
Mellowing Through Mindfulnessp. 326
Chapter 21 Ten Ways to Help Kids With Depressionp. 329
Finding Funp. 329
Doling Out Disciplinep. 330
Giving Feedbackp. 330
Climbing Every Mountainp. 330
Revving Up Responsibilitiesp. 331
Talking and Listeningp. 331
Recognizing Depressionp. 331
Looking Under Rocksp. 332
Getting Helpp. 333
Loving No Matter Whatp. 333
Chapter 22 Ten Ways to Help a Friend or Lover with Depressionp. 335
Recognizing Depressionp. 335
Referring for Helpp. 336
Listening Without Solvingp. 336
Taking Care of Yourselfp. 337
Holding Criticism at Bayp. 337
Depersonalizing Depressionp. 338
Finding Patiencep. 338
Remembering to Carep. 339
Providing Encouragement and Remaining Hopefulp. 339
Exhorting Exercisep. 339
Appendix Resources for Youp. 341
Self-Help Booksp. 341
Resources to Help Childrenp. 342
Helpful Web Sitesp. 343
Indexp. 345