Hide & Seek: How I Laughed at Depression, Conquered My Fears and Found Happiness
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Hide & Seek: How I Laughed at Depression, Conquered My Fears and Found Happiness [Paperback]

Wendy Aron
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 2008
Hilarious and refreshingly honest, this chronicle of a year-long journey of self-exploration and self-help offers solace and solidarity to the myriad sufferers of clinical depression and anxiety disorders. A far cry from the typical self-help manual, this wry and subversive account is leavened with a healthy dose of humble pie and a keen sense of the absurd. As the author navigates a series of self-help classes designed to raise her self-esteem, make her more assertive, help her find a man, lose weight, channel her creativity, and get her "energy centers" realigned, the reader will be moved and inspired by her pluck. Tackling important issues like familial dysfunction, letting go of blame and resentment, and battling negative thinking, this memoir shows it's possible to recover one's self worth without losing one's sense of humor.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

In her efforts to subdue raging depression, TV and stage writer Aron tried to no avail virtually every mainstream and alternative remedy. Her adventures among the lunatic fringe are laugh-out-loud funny. In the end, Aron gets her life together by dismissing all of the "miracle cures" and discovering herself. Anyone who has overcome recurring bouts with the blues will relish this comic self-help tale.—Lynne Maxwell
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Aron draws on her training as a screenwriter and her experience as a television sitcom writer to tell a hysterically funny account of one woman’s quest for happiness. Having battled depression in her twenties, Aron finds that being forced to do the same in her forties is downright, well . . . depressing—even to the point of longing for the good ol’ days when psychological problems forced her to be hospitalized. But this time she realizes that she can’t rely totally on her beloved therapist but must devise a method to improve herself. Her “master plan” for fixing everything from her relationships with her mother and with men to her weight and health goes awry in multiple ways, all of which she recounts with endearing self-deprecating humor. Among the missteps are a self-help class (in which the instructor preaches that posture is the key to happiness) and a try at speed dating (where one date wept for his dead wife). In the end, Aron finds a “new plan,” one that involves acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude. This engrossing, thoroughly entertaining memoir offers both a delightfully ironic view of the self-help industry and, at the same time, an inspiring personal story of recovery that will resonate with women of all ages and situations. --Mary Frances Wilkens

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kunati Inc. (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601641583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601641588
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,492,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all my mother's fault! September 3, 2008
Tracing her problems back to her non supportive family, the author embarks on a year long journey to close her 'misery gap'and help her anxiety and depression. While taking a series of self help classes, esteem building seminars, and creativity courses,she discovers that she is not alone in her feelings and that life is all a matter of perception. Along the way she also finds time to try speed dating,personal relationship counseling and weight watchers meetings. Aromatherapy and assertiveness training round out the search and add to the growth process. If this is not enough to contend with, there is her mother and the 'High Priestess of Marketing' at work. These chapters will have you laughing out loud. Although this is a work of non-fiction, it does not read like it. Ms. Aron treats a serious subject with a fresh perspective and her writing is incredibly witty and humorous. Definitely a recommended read! The bibliography includes ten sources for more information about mental health. There is also an extensive list of web sites and organizations that can help.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey worth reading September 7, 2008
By Dr. Eva
Finally- an inspiring and uplifting story told straight from the heart of a true depressive. Wendy Aron successfully describes the irrational thought processes that take hold of the depressive's mind while accurately detailing the way in which she came to challenge these destructive thoughts and behaviors. With her therapist as her anchor, Ms Aron embarked upon a one-year self-help journey to battle weight loss, low self-esteem, and anxiety to boot. Her humorous woes are chronicled through the myriad of classes that she attends and the realizations that arise from her experiences make the read all the more worthwhile! As a clinical psychologist I found this book both useful and entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous and Inspirational Memoir October 5, 2008
Rating: 4.5 stars

After years of suffering from depression and low self-esteem, Wendy Aron finally worked up the courage to sign up for a self-help course. It was called `Winning Ways' and its goal was to teach participants how to present themselves in social and business situations to get what they want. What may appear to be a small step to some, ended up being the stepping stone Aron needed to take control of her life and conquer her battle with depression. With some newfound confidence, Aron is propelled into action and sets off to learn how to relax, lose weight, cure her smoking addiction and become more optimistic. "Hide & Seek" chronicles Aron's year-long foray into the self-help realm and the lessons she learned along the way. Chock-full of hilarious flashbacks and amusing anecdotes, Aron's humor does not disappoint.

"Hide & Seek" provides a guided tour of many of the self-help outlets available, from the mundane to the outrageous. Some of the highlights include a Speed Dating adventure, a creativity retreat, aromatherapy and the exploration of her chakras (`energy centers of the soul) and a humor and learned optimism class.

While Aron was the one who embarked upon the life-altering journey, I couldn't help but feel like I was along for the ride as well. Even though this book is a memoir, I think it speaks to each and everyone of us and has much to offer. I must admit I learned a great deal from Aron's experiences and somehow felt a lot more positive after reading it. Aron uses her sarcastic humor as a means of entertaining her readers, instead of what was probably once used as a defense mechanism. Her witty humor is also what made me feel attached to her and by the end of the book, I felt like she was a close friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bull's-eye September 9, 2008
As a Long Islander who went through very similar experiences with esteem-building classes, weight-loss meetings, and New Age workshops, I found myself saying "Aha!" page after page and thinking back, trying to remember if it was Ms. Aron who sat beside me in my own class, meeting, or workshop. She has nailed what life was like on the Island during those years for a young, unmarried woman carrying a few extra pounds, a few extra neuroses, and good helping of depression. Even more amazing, she has made me laugh about it! But don't get me wrong--you don't need to be a woman from Long Island to enjoy this book. Men and women, from Seattle, Tampa, or anywhere in between, can pick up some new insight, gain a new perspective, and enjoy a hearty laugh or two.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life's Difficulties Don't Have To Be Taken So Seriously September 25, 2008
We are all faced with problems and difficulties throughout our life. When we can cope with them through humor, we not only help ourselves but others. Wendy Aron has given us humor and also encouragement as we deal with our own issues. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to find a way not to take their problems so seriously. While depression is definitely a serious matter, isn't it so much better to laugh than to cry? Two thumbs up, Wendy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, just wish the book was better edited. October 31, 2008
As a sufferer of anxiety and depression my entire life, I was drawn to this book while roaming through the local library. I must say that the author nailed it in certain places and I came away with a better understanding of my condition. I appreciate her efforts to bring this condition to light and the daily challenges we go through. I will recommend this book to my psychiatrist during my next visit. Thank you Ms Aron!

That being said, was this book self published? Being somewhat of a frustrated writer myself, I was irked to read several grammar errors, misplaced sentences, and meanderings that should have been worked through by a good editor. The ending left me somewhat frustrated as it appears that Ms. Aron did find a man she felt she could let down her guard and engage with and has since settled down to happy matrimony. This was never addressed in the book. I think I would have liked to see less of the new age encounters that we depressives...(a word I did not know until I read Ms. Aron's book!)...find ourselves in and more of the daily challenges Ms. Aron appears to have overcome.

Overall an insightful (and comedic) book for those of us with anxiety and depression. Thanks again Ms. Aron for sharing your story!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Ready to pass it on if someone wants it
Got this book from a free exchange book club and before even finishing it I am ready to pass it on so that someone else doesn't waste her/his money. Save your money. Read more
Published on November 16, 2010 by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Down But Not Out!
I found Hide and Seek to be an honest, humorous and sometimes heart wrenching account of the author's battle with depression. Ms. Read more
Published on December 1, 2008 by Barbara Barlow
4.0 out of 5 stars Great treatment for depression!
Picked up this book with some trepidation. Would the author really deliver on a humorous account of clinical depression & neurosis? Read more
Published on November 30, 2008 by Turtle
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasures
When I first started reading Hide & Seek, I felt guilty every time I laughed at poor Wendy, whose struggle to deal with depression and low self-esteem is the subject of this... Read more
Published on November 5, 2008 by David Donelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Life And Then Some
Hide and Seek is a suprisingly funny, witty account of how one person prevails over her lifelong battle with depression. Read more
Published on November 3, 2008 by Reader631
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
An engaging and well written account of one woman's journey toward self discovery. Wendy allows the reader to go along for the ride as she puts herself out there while attending... Read more
Published on October 25, 2008 by Jeanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Insightful
I honestly didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. It's hard to think of depression as a funny subject, but somehow the author manages to find the humor in dire... Read more
Published on October 7, 2008 by Long Island Writer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for Pessimists!
Hide and seek is a laugh out loud look at one woman's journey through depression to self discovery and acceptance. Read more
Published on October 7, 2008 by Yvonne Caron
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
this was a really great book. Really well written! It was funny where it needed to be and serious when it needed to be. I strongly recommend reading it.
Published on October 4, 2008 by Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring
Two words that are oxymoronic to see together are "depression"
and "humor". Ms. Aron has managed to blend these words together and come out with an inspiring and laugh out... Read more
Published on September 28, 2008 by D. Farber
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More About the Author

Wendy Aron is an award-winning humorist (Society of Professional Journalists), television sitcom writer (Writers Guild of America, West), and comic playwright (McLaren Festival). Her writing has been published by the New York Times, Psychology Today, Newsweek, Pick the Brain, The Change Blog, IndieReader, and Elephant Journal, among many other print publications and websites. She is also the author of a comic memoir about depression, which was published by an award-winning independent press just prior to its bankruptcy announcement. Despite this career trajectory, Wendy's greatest satisfaction comes from working with young people who are motivated to write simply because they find it fun.

Wendy attended Brandeis University but fled in a clinical depression when she realized she wasn't going to be able to get into an Ivy League law school. She completed her BA at Adelphi University, in Garden City, New York, majoring in political science, with a minor in doomed idealism. She also spent some time floating around the screenwriting program at the UCLA Graduate School of Motion Pictures/TV but fortunately escaped before they could manufacture another MFA forced to teach those primarily motivated to write for reasons other than the sheer joy of it (a.k.a. Oscars and Emmys).

In spite of her formal education, Wendy believes she has learned some important lessons about cultivating creativity: Talk to lot of different people from all walks of life, ask them a lot of questions, and listen to their answers very carefully. Then, try something new.

Wendy currently lives on Long Island, New York, where she enjoys jumping to conclusions and making sweeping generalizations with her husband and their three cats.

Reviews for Hide & Seek: How I Laughed at Depression, Conquered My Fears and Found Happiness (Kunati, 2008)

"In her efforts to subdue raging depression, TV and stage writer Aron tried to no avail virtually every mainstream and alternative remedy. Her adventures among the lunatic fringe are laugh-out-loud funny. In the end, Aron gets her life together by dismissing all of the 'miracle cures' and discovering herself. Anyone who has overcome recurring bouts with the blues will relish this comic self-help tale." --School Library Journal

"Sitcom writer Wendy Aron has written a hysterically funny book about a very unfunny subject: being paralyzed by depression. Perhaps more neurotic than Woody Allen and just as funny, Aron survives a year of self-help groups and therapy by homing in on the scariness and inanities of the meetings. This Jewish New Yorker's sharp, self-deprecating humor can dissolve suffering into laughter." --Hadassah Magazine

"Learning how to cope with hopelessness has never been so fun." --ForeWord

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