Books on depression help explain unexplainable—December 12, 2008
Depression is a topic that is hard to contemplate around this time of the year when families and friends congregate for good times. Some struggle with depression. Others seem to be able to brush it off. Why the different reactions? Whether you are going through depression or know someone that is, the Hastings Public Library has materials available that at least attempt to explain the unexplainable.
Some book titles simply jump out at you such as the title “Against Happiness” by Eric G. Wilson. How could anyone be against happiness? Wilson has a different take on humans trying to be positive all of the time. He argues that melancholia has produced great works in painting, music, literature and ideas. He says that people such as Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln pursued creativity to enhance the culture of humans rather than seeking constant happiness for themselves.
Melancholia may have its merits, but most views about depression and the devastation it can cause seem to stress the opposite of acceptance of the situation. Books such as “Against Depression” by Peter D. Kramer, “Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Depression: New Ways to Regain Your Confidence” by James Gardner and Arthur H. Bell and “The Good News About Depression: Breakthrough Medical Treatments That Can Work for You” by Mark S. Gold reveal new research and drug therapies that can combat many disorders. Mark S. Gold discusses new diagnostic tests, how to choose a good psychotherapist and gives lifesaving guidelines.
In his book “Stumbling on Happiness,” Daniel Gilbert asks the age-old question, “What would you do right now if you learned that you were going to die in ten minutes?” Gilbert has fun with the question as he explains how the mind works in different situations. “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want” by Sonja Lyubomirsky and “Taking Care of Me: The Habits of Happiness” by Mary Kay Mueller give practical recommendations about making life more satisfying. Learn to laugh again with “The Healing Power of Humor: Techniques for Getting through Loss, Setbacks, Upsets, Disappointments, Difficulties, Trials, Tribulations, and All That Not-So-Funny Stuff” by Allen Klein.
Help others cope with “Straight Talk about Your Child’s Mental Health: What to Do When Something Seems Wrong” by Stephen V. Faraone or “Everything you need to know about teen suicide” by Jay Schleifer. Help yourself with the book “When Your Body Gets the Blues: The Clinically Proven Program for Women Who Feel Tired and Stressed and Eat Too Much” by Marie-Annette Brown and Jo Robinson.
Find how to verbalize and keep feelings out in the open with these and other books at the Hastings Public Library.