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Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression Paperback – September 22, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Alise Wright is married to her best friend Jason and is the mom to four incredible kids. She loves writing, knitting, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup. She writes about faith, family and friendship regularly at her blog, alise-write.com
Top Customer Reviews
Not Alone is a beautiful example of what has become a growing trend from some publishers. Gone is the idea that a sole contributor can and does know everything about a specific topic; instead, this book is community based in its authorship. It spans a wide gamut of experiences, voices, and opinions of individuals who have lived with and continue to live with clinical depression. And it is the very fact that so many different and unique people have allowed us as readers to take a peek into their often private struggles that the book finds it's greatest strength: proclaiming not proudly but with open arms "You are not alone."
At first, the wide and sometimes jarring differences in writing styles, tones, and narration of the stories can be a little off-putting, but that is because we as readers have become adjusted to the comfortable sotto voce of a single writer sharing her or his opinion. In Not Alone, we are reminded that what one person experiences in dealing with depression is not the same as what every individual experiences. Age, gender, life experiences, sexual orientation, spiritual development - all are variables that can and do affect how we respond. A heterosexual male may not be able to fully, completely "get" what it's like to be a mother suffering from postpartum depression, yet both may be in the throes of their own versions of depression. And it is in this shared pain that they find community and common ground. Two or more are gathered in the name of hope, and they express to others the grace shown to them by the One who gives hope. In doing so, they offer help to one another to be able to emerge out of the darkness.Read more ›
The project came about after blogger Alise Wright shared about her own experiences with this disease that still hides behind such a stigma. As people chimed in with comments and guest posts, a chord of fraternity resonated amongst those who suffer, many times in silent torture. Fast forward a bit to this month, when the compilation of these stories makes its way to the world in book form.
Wright has divided the book into several sections: Awareness, Acceptance, Recovery, and Post-Depression Reflections. Each one paints an emotional, poignant description of the many faces depression takes. Since the stories come from so many different authors, there are various causes, treatments, and prognoses. As they share the ways they have dealt with depression, they are illuminating a beacon of hope for those that feel they have none.
The book sheds light in a dark place, a place where it's easy to feel trapped and helpless. This is not a quick-fix book full of easy answers, but it is real. It is diverse. It is revealing. I suspect a lot of people will find themselves within these stories and feel a little less isolated. The book is not only a step in the right direction for those who struggle with depression, but priceless for those of us who want to understand them.
Wright has organized the book into sections that highlight how individuals have been attacked by a fearsome foe and kicked back. The pain hits the reader in that spot that most humans have, our empathy bone. We are brought face to face with real humans in the very blackness of agony. Writers share about job loss, rape, post-partum depression, divorce. They also write from places where we assume depression has no purchase; many stories detail how people have come to terms with "not having a reason to be depressed." Most of them wrestle with the disparity between a Christian faith and a medical diagnosis that is felt but not seen. (Something not discussed nearly enough.)
As I read heart-wrenching story after sucker-punch story, many of which closely echoed my own experience, I was drawn in, deeper and deeper into their hurt, and further; into their hope. I wanted to meet the writers, to thank them for sharing so openly something we rarely discuss in polite company.
That is ultimately the greater value of the book. Aside from the bone jarring honesty and the fluency of the writers to tackle such a tenuous topic, the simple but poignant idea that depression sufferers are not alone resounds. When one is in the throes of this force, knowing it is treatable, knowing there is hope, knowing others are kicking the same opponent in the teeth, makes a world of difference.
Kudos to Ms. Wright and her contributors. If you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, this book is a capable friend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I suggest the reader be prepared for the preponderance of faith-based stories in this book. I understand some people rely on a faith to help them through this disease, but story... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Tricia Roth
I have the honor of being a contributor to this book (my story's on page 73, FYI), so I might be a little bit partial. Read morePublished on December 30, 2011 by Travis Mamone
These powerful stories about experiencing depression will change the way you think about the subject. Read morePublished on December 29, 2011 by Shawn Smucker
If you are struggling with depression or know someone who is, this would be a great book to get. Though many of the stories are painful and sad, the book is filled with hope simply... Read morePublished on December 21, 2011 by Jeremy Myers - Writing at RedeemingGod
Powerful individual stories about living with, accepting and surviving depression. It is so important for all human beings to know they are not alone in their struggles. Read morePublished on November 18, 2011 by Time and chance
In order for you to enjoy this book, you will need to put down your red pen. That was hard to do- but I tried to get beyond that in order to see the beauty of 20+ people sharing... Read morePublished on October 17, 2011 by C. L. Clancy
Depression can be scary ... but learning about it is the best way to minimize its scariness. Not Alone is a compilation of essays from over thirty people in various phases of life... Read morePublished on October 14, 2011 by Janet Oberholtzer
If you, like me, are currently living with depression and feel like no one would understand, I highly recommend this book. It gave me hope. It gave me a sense of community. Read morePublished on October 6, 2011 by Sarah Moon
As I read through this book, I was reminded of what it is to breathe, to learn to breathe again. Some days, depression comes and sits on my chest, it presses its knees in deep. Read morePublished on October 4, 2011 by Preston