Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You
Richard O’Connor knows what he talks about in one of the most thorough, comprehensive, and enjoyable books I’ve ever read on the beast we call depression. As a therapist, a supervisor, an administrator, and perhaps most importantly, as a human being, O’Connor brings more to this topic than a simple recitation of facts and self-help methods. He brings the human experience home to the reader, in a way few writers do in this book genre.
O’Connor warns in the introduction that this is a book filled with stuff that the two distinct audiences (mental health professionals and laypeople) may not ordinarily share. Each chapter offers not only in-depth and balanced knowledge and information O’Connor imparts to the reader, but also a good dose of humanity and caring.
For instance, interspersed throughout each chapter are personal stories from therapy, and clients’ own stories, bringing home specific, important points. It makes what might otherwise be yet another impersonal self-help book (from a mental health professional) into a relevant, useful guide easy to relate to aspects of one’s own life. I found it easy to get through this book, and worth the time (even as someone who’s read a whole lot about depression to begin with).
O’Connor’s writing is fluid and down-to-earth; he never gets mired in details losing the main point of his argument or discussion. He gives specific examples throughout each chapter, and keeps everything understandable while not minimizing the complexity of specific subjects.
The book is extensive, and its length may be off putting (especially to those currently suffering from depression). But its length is also its greatest strength, because it covers so many topics relating to depression so well. Offering a single guide to depression is a big undertaking, since depression infiltrates so many aspects of a person’s life.
If you’re suffering from depression and have tried other self-help methods, you might want to try this book. I would encourage you to take it a little bit at a time, and focus on the chapters that you’re most interested in first (it’s not a book you have to read from front to back all at once).
358 pages, hardcover (softcover edition also available).