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The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression, Second Edition Paperback – January 9, 2002
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It may be difficult for those suffering from depression to add a little work into their day; simply getting out of bed can seem like plenty of work. But if you are newly diagnosed or experiencing moderate problems with depression or bipolar disorder, The Depression Workbook might be a literal lifesaver.
The first section is especially useful to new patients just learning to navigate the signs, treatments, and vocabulary of depression. Clearly written overviews of specific symptoms are coupled with space for you to write in your own thoughts on treatment, prognosis, and your ultimate goals. Checklists and daily planners help to identify both areas of difficulty and positive experiences; later in the book, you'll find charts for tracking medications, diet, and doctor visits.
A full section is devoted to the establishment and maintenance of a support group. Ideas range from open discussions with family members to seeking out volunteer work, and it's this section that may be the trickiest for the depressed to work through. Finding the strength to make new friends may seem impossible at first, but author Mary Ellen Copeland spreads plenty of warmth, encouragement, and personal experience among her directives. --Jill Lightner
Endorsement of First Edition: “This book is a lifesaver. This is one of the ‘must have’ books for anyone newly diagnosed with depression or manic depression. It is invaluable in teaching both sufferer and supporter the symptoms and coping skills. This book was monumental in helping me get through a severe depression that lasted nonstop for half a decade. I recommend this book to all my readers, and to anyone suffering with depression or bipolar disorders.”—Bob Olsen, author of the best-selling Win the Battle: The 3-Step Lifesaving Formula to Conquer Depression and Bipolar Disorder
“The second edition of this eminently useful guide offers readers proven and active courses of action for getting and staying on the road to wellness. Mary Ellen Copeland is an author who thoroughly understands depression and manic depression, and the book’s effective techniques and clear organization illustrate her commitment to facilitating real healing. Once again, Copeland has produced one of the very best books on the subject."
—Lauren Dockett, author of The Deepest Blue: How Women Face and Overcome Depression
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I also agree with some of the reviewers who state it made them feel more isolated and depressed. I can understand their viewpoint. It can be difficult when you are in a deep depression, or you do not have an adequate support group, to complete the chapters referring to these matters. I even had a difficult time because physical support groups are extremely difficult to locate in the area I live in. It would be more interesting, or maybe more beneficial, to include more internet resources regarding this matter to help prevent feelings of isolation.
This workbook is greatly beneficial in discovering your triggers for your depression or mania, developing a plan on how to handle these matters, coping skills, establishing goals for yourself, and in general streamlining your thoughts. It also gives the reader a sense of control over the disorder, and what happens to you when the disorder goes into a crisis. Furthermore, the workbook does provide an excellent list of additional resources to find information on depression, stress, coping skills, relationships, and other matters. This workbook does take time to complete, and you can skip irrelevant chapters as needed without missing information. It makes things easy to understand and can be beneficial. However, just like with anything it is not for everyone.
I should add the book address both depression AND manic depression, so if you are just dealing with the former, you would have to skip over the chapters covering mania, which isn't really a problem as far as getting what you need out of this book. Also, I've found that I've had to put the book aside for a while (days or even a week or so) and then return to it when I feel ready to address some of the questions in the book, especially when thinking about what to put in what Copeland calls a "WRAP" (Wellness Recovery Action Plan).
There is a great list of resources in the back of the text, and while some seem a bit outdated (this book was published in the late '90s) they are still a great reference and starting point. The only reason I believe this book is not for everyone is that some resources work better than others for different people, and this workbook does require a more proactive approach. But overall, I've personally found it helpful in conjunction with my other treatments.