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Book Review: “The No Bullshit Guide to Depression” by Steven Skoczen

So, here we are, in – shall we say – a dark time? Things, overall, don’t feel so great right now.

I don’t want to get into specifics, but for those of us who had bumpy childhoods with unpredictable, somewhat unstable parents, this is a tough time for many of us. We’re looking around and wondering where the adults went.

And as much as I’d love to be one of the therapists who can write an awesome blog post about taking care of yourself during this time, I’ve been too busy hiding under my desk in between clients. (Just kidding. I actually hide at my house… under a blanket… with my cat.)

But here’s what I can do: Recommend a fantastic book on depression that EVERYONE should read.

That’s right, I don’t even care if you don’t have depression – you should read this book because it’s SO SPOT ON about depression and will make you better able to understand and support those in your life who struggle with it (9.5% of the population in any given one-year period).

If you DO have depression, this book is crafty. Super short chapters, easy-to-read sentences and directions for the best sections to check out first if you happen to be in the midst of the brain-fog of depression. And it IS literally a guide to depression – what it is, how it happens, what to do and how to think about all of it.

From the Welcome page (p. 5):

I wrote this book because there’s a staggering gap for people like us who deal with depression.

On average, it takes us ten years from the time we first experience a serious depressive episode to an interaction with professional help…

We have to fumble our way through dealing with depression in a world that doesn’t understand it, even as we figure out what exactly depression means to ourselves.

And that is some serious bullshit.

Included in the book are 60+ research-backed tools, an arrow pointing you to the Spoon Theory, and even suggestions on what to say to people re: your depression.

For the long haul, there are handy directions on how to prepare for future depressions, assuming they tend to come and go for you (pending weather, political climate, life events, etc.). You know what they say about preparation!

Oh! And I even learned about an online game called “Depression Quest” by Zoe Quinn that takes the player through what it’s like to have depression. A fantastic resource for the friends and family members.

Score: 10 out of 10 stars

February 10, 2017