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The Depression Book: Depression as an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth

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4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  245 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
This Zen guide to utilizing depression as an opportunity for spiritual growth and personal acceptance includes personal accounts, written excercises, and meditation instructions.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Keep It Simple Books (first published 1990)
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Tonya
Dec 19, 2008 Tonya rated it it was amazing
I love this book I suffer from depression and this book has done for me what the Zoloft could not do: understand my depression
Sarah
Jun 08, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Once I'd got over my dislike of the cover (a more depressing book visually I cannot imagine), my problem with the handwriting and drawings (I kept thinking 'couldn't they have chosen a prettier script and better illustrations?' before I realised that this reaction was exactly the sort of perfectionism that results in anxiety/depression), I gained many really useful insights from this book. Take this:

'If your hair were on fire, it would not be helpful to panic and race around in all directions a
...more
Deborah
Sep 14, 2015 Deborah rated it liked it
I like it.

It is written in a straigh forward and simple manner and gives you something to think about.

I disagree with the fact that we just "depress" ourselves. Some peoples depression is caused by a chemical imblance in the brain and is due to a lack of serotonin.

It is good to be aware of what causes you to feel depressed or a deep, deep sadness. Or even being aware of the emotions/symptoms that are caused by your depression. ie anxiety, sleeplessness, irratability, anger, fatigue etc.

The more
...more
Algernon
May 05, 2015 Algernon rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism, zen, psychology
Of all the people who say "I am depressed," there are some experiencing a clinical condition that is very serious, beyond the control of willpower, and can in fact spiral downward into life-threatening complications. A change of attitude and a little meditation is not a panacea for a psychiatric disorder.

Others who refer to "depression" refer to a generalized category of soul-numbing patterns of thought that suppress feelings and flatten one's inspiration, and it may feel out of control to one
...more
Jessica
Aug 21, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: to those who have ever said a negative word to themselves or know those who have
Recommended to Jessica by: Brandon
An honest, non-coddling, supportive, caring suggestion on how to re-wire your brain to love yourself. When I was in an extremely good mood, this book seemed silly and unnecessary. When I was feeling truly down and worthless, I couldn't bear to look at this book. In the times I was ebbing in and out of my various moods, this book touched upon truths that I know deeply. The guiding words could be taken differently by one person on different days. To be "depressed" seems almost a cliche label these ...more
K.Q. Webster
Sep 15, 2015 K.Q. Webster rated it really liked it
A fresh look at depression suggesting that it may be a blessing in disguise. A chance to learn about and come to love yourself more. That it may be easier than you think to let that darkness subside. It's not the end all and doesn't replace professional help but it shows you a path that could help you become more at peace with your circumstances.
Fishface
Jan 31, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health, how-to, zen
Now this is a really interesting, oddly empowering book on depression, placing it in the context of a person's spiritual state and making recommendations on that basis. Very easy to read. This one cheerfully flies in the face of medical-model "you've got a chemical imbalance" nonsense.
John F Herberger
Apr 10, 2016 John F Herberger rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book more than any other to friends and family. I am thankful to my friend Sally who recommended it to me back in the early 90's. If it calls to you - read it
Sarah Emily
Jun 09, 2016 Sarah Emily added it
Shelves: self-help
Wonderful companion for those who battle depression or struggle with self esteem.
Kathryn J
A book that should be on ever shelf !!!!! Gentle and Real!!!
Eli
Apr 01, 2015 Eli rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2009
A lot of good ideas, but somewhat lacking in practical advice. OK, we're not supposed to resist depression, but how do we not resist it without wallowing in it and becoming slaves to it? Like a lot of introductory Zen texts, I always feel frustrated, like there's something not being said that I'm just supposed to intuitively know how to do, and I don't. Still, some throught-provoking ideas that I might find helpful. Will reread and reconsider.
Holly
This Zen/mindfulness perspective has significantly altered my own perspective on coping with depression, for the better, I think. Her approach to depression and other negative emotional experiences is unconventional but empowering, and pretty darn functional. If you deal with depression or anxiety, I highly recommend this. It's not much of a time commitment, either.
Jen
Feb 17, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it
Handwritten to help you read it a little differently - perhaps a little slower.

This book hit me at a wonderful time, and has given me language and understanding to use in accepting my experiences and those of others. I imagine that it could be a book that could spiral around, with added potential each time. I recommend it.
Jeff
Apr 06, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing
This was really the first book about Depression to ever boil down soul-crushing despair into a form I could work with. I really cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Kevin
Jan 22, 2008 Kevin rated it it was amazing
It made me believe that I am capable of coping with my periodic depression without going on meds - and that's a good thing -
Kathleen
Jan 28, 2008 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every human being
This book changed & saved my life. It's name has since changed to "Being Present In Darkness", which I reccommend to everyone.
Jeff
Aug 02, 2009 Jeff rated it it was ok
Not liking this one as much as some of the others I've read, but it's got enough in it to give it a read once...
Ariane
Jul 07, 2013 Ariane rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, non-fiction
Oops, finished this a while back. Good, but "There is nothing wrong with you" is still my favourite. ;)
Peggy
Sep 01, 2016 Peggy rated it it was amazing
I love this author, and her style of writing. I suffer from depression and it really helped
Jeane Watier
Jul 05, 2012 Jeane Watier rated it really liked it
This really helped me understand depression, see it in a new way and ultimately overcome it.
Jenn
Nov 16, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it
A refreshing approach to dealing with depressing times. Highly recommend it.
Enthony
Jul 14, 2009 Enthony is currently reading it
Everything.
Tarin
Feb 24, 2008 Tarin rated it it was amazing
helpful tips
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