Beating the Blues: New Approaches to Overcoming Dysthymia and Chronic Mild Depression

Beating the Blues: New Approaches to Overcoming Dysthymia and Chronic Mild Depression

Beating the Blues: New Approaches to Overcoming Dysthymia and Chronic Mild Depression

Beating the Blues: New Approaches to Overcoming Dysthymia and Chronic Mild Depression

Synopsis

Mild depressions are so insidious that sufferers often don't seek help. They think, "that's just the way I am. There's really not much I can do about it." As Dr. Michael Thase and science writer Susan S. Lang reveal in this wonderful new book, the good news is they can do something about it. Persistent mild depression, which afflicts up to 35 million Americans, can be readily and permanently cured. Thase and Lang show how chronic mild depression can be relieved by learning strategies that help us to recognize negative and distorted thinking patterns that lead to a downward spiral of pessimism. They reveal that a combination of medication and therapy has been shown to be the most effective treatment for mild depression, with an impressive 85% of patients experiencing full relief. They discuss when you should seek help from a therapist and what kinds of therapy seem the most effective (therapies that focus on the here and now seem to work best); outline the safer new antidepressants that are helpful for both mild and severe depressions, detailing each drug's strength and weakness; and examine alternative therapies, including stress management (meditation, relaxation, massage, biofeedback), physical exercise, acupuncture, supplements, and other mind/body therapies. Finally, they provide in-depth discussions of mild depression in children, adolescents, college students, and elderly parents, as well as those with chronic stress. Throughout, the authors use boxed text and charts to make the key ideas immediately accessible and easy to use. Beating the Blues is an inspiring and empowering book, filled with the information and encouragement you need to turn your life around and begin to feel renewed pleasure and joy.

Excerpt

This book is a collaboration of a leading depression researcher and an award-winning, longtime science writer. Our purpose is to raise awareness that suffering from chronic, low-grade depression does not have to be a way of life. Low-grade depression corrodes the quality of life of millions of people, with most never realizing that they have a highly treatable condition.

It is not normal to be apathetic, passive, glum, sad, irritable, joyless, hopeless, helpless, or negative, even for relatively brief periods of time. In this book we focus on chronic forms of depression, which can last years or decades. People who chronically have these feelings suffer from a condition as legitimate as anemia, gastric reflux, or arthritis—if you do nothing about it you may periodically feel okay, but the problem probably won't go away by itself, and in the long term, it could become debilitating.

We have written this book to be as readable as possible, since we know that depression can affect even the best reader's attention span. Our purpose is to inform and motivate readers to take action, not to serve as a reference book for scholars. Therefore, we do not footnote each statistic (which usually vary from study to study, depending on methodology) but, rather, refer the reader seeking sources to an extensive bibliography, the appendices, or the ever-changing body of . . .

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