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Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  284 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Therese Borchard may be one of the frankest, funniest people on the planet. That, combined with her keen writing abilities has made her Beliefnet blog, Beyond Blue, one of the most trafficked blogs on the site.

BEYOND BLUE, the book, is part memoir/part self-help. It describes Borchard's experience of living with manic depression as well as providing cutting-edge research a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 6th 2010 by Center Street (first published December 29th 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 19, 2010 Bridget rated it it was amazing

This isn't something I talk about a lot. Not that I'm ashamed of it or anything but I like to concentrate on the positive and that's hard to do if all you're talking about is how you suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. Anyway, for the longest time I struggled with my feelings. I had no idea how I felt and therefore couldn't process my emotions. It took a break-down to make me realize that something was seriously wrong with me.

Books like BEYOND BLUE give me hope. Depression isn't something tha
Aug 29, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
Some things about this book annoyed the shit out of me. The style of writing. All the God stuff. Didn't resonate with me. But what did was the author's story. She puts into words pretty effectively the struggle against depression, or in her case, bipolar ii. When she tried to be self-effacing, it annoyed me. But I find the subject matter very compelling and her encouragement to others to go get help - lots of help - for their mental illness is why I give this four stars. She's fighting a good fr ...more
Mar 08, 2010 Janet rated it liked it
I started off thinking this was the most self-absorbed erratic account of mental illness I had even encountered, but by the middle I recognized that the author was instead just honestly recounting her experiences as a bi-polar young adult--and I suppose with that came a bit of ego and narcissim. As she faces her problems head on and matures, so does her writing. Her understanding of (and guidance for others about) what it takes to maintain a balanced life is spot on.
My goodness it took me so long to finish, but it was a tough one to digest. So many emotions pouring.. the sincerity of them were rather shocking but also refreshing. Therese is a heck of a woman! way to go!
The Rainbow Zebra
A literal life-saver

Beyond Blue is part memoir, and part guide to living with a mental illness. I was drawn to Borchard's writing through an e newsletter, and quickly joined Group Beyond Blue on Facebook. Naturally I had to get this book, and it's a worthwhile addition to my sanity toolkit.

While our illnesses may be different--currently I'm battling anxiety, but have dealt with depression in the past--her story helps me feel I'm not alone. In addition, every chapter contains a sanity break--tip
Apr 13, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
A fairly light-hearted tale of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and getting over them. If I'm going to read about someone's battle with depression, it needs to be well-peppered with humor otherwise I'm not going to make it through. I thought Ms. Borchard did a good job and her writing style was very appealing to me. I can see why she's a successful blogger. She writes as if you're just two friends chatting over cups of coffee, which to me, is the mark of a good blogger.

I liked the struct
Mar 12, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing
The book begins with an account of the author melting down emotionally at her son's karate class:


Two moms shot me the "you have no control over your kid--you're an upcoming episode of SUPERNANNY" look... I was only 3 items into my gratitude list when I caught sight of a mom plugging away at her laptop computer. Her son was seated at the kid's table readin his copy of "I'm So Well Behaved Because My Mommy's Not a Whackjob."


From there, she takes on a stunningly honest & uproariously funn
Dec 08, 2014 Misti rated it really liked it
I chose to read Beyond Blue because of the author's life long battle with depression and anxiety.

The first half of this book is candid and raw emotional memoir. I appreciated her inside view of situations and her reaction to her own emotions.

The second half of the book is more self-help. I gleaned some understanding of myself when reading through this second half. The author lists suggestions like 1) find the right doctor 2)take the right vitamins 3)Exercise 4)eat well 5)get enough sleep 6)get
Oct 26, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I liked the author's narratives, she did a good job of describing possible childhood and adolescent triggers into her condition, and I was absolutely fascinated to read about her life pre-bipolar diagnosis. The only part I didn't like (and this is no fault of the author's at all) is that her descriptions of her panic attacks and anxiety were a bit triggering for me, especially as someone who has a mood disorder. However, I can see the value in her ex ...more
Jan 19, 2015 Amber rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2010 Alicia rated it really liked it
The two main takeaways of "Beyond Blue" are hope and humor.

First the hope: This book was both more hopeful and less hopeful than I thought it would be. More hopeful because Therese Borchard has overcome incredible obstacles in her life and continues - CONTINUES - to do so. Less hopeful because she has gone through so much and been through so many therapists and drug combinations and hospitalizations that it is a bit overwhelming. For readers, this is definitely a hopeful book because, hopefully
Jan 04, 2010 Wendy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wendy by: Found listed on Goodreads
Therese Borchard writes a blog about her struggle with bipolar disorder that appears on Huffiington Post. The book is her personal story, what she has gone through, including being so suicidal that she was hospitalized. After years of unhelpful (to say the least) psychiatrists and other practitioners, unenlightened advice from friends, and through determination and tenacity she has found some things what has made her life as a writer, mother and wife possible. She includes a list (her "twelve-st ...more
Naomi Young
It's not easy to describe this book. It has, unsurprisingly, the structure of a blog-turned-book; meaty little chunks of text strung together with a strong theme. I have been called Queen of the Analogies, so... if Carrie Fisher could write at a PG level, and if she talked about faith instead of celebrity, you might get something like this awesome little book. (I'd kind of like to hear Fisher and Borchard chat.... maybe we'll all three get locked up together someday? Naw, I couldn't be so lucky. ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Ginny rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, non-fiction, 2013
Borchard's candidness about her illness is inspiring, well-told, and necessary if stigma against mental illness is going to be addressed in any way. I valued her point of view on alternative therapies and her acknowledgement of them as potentially dangerous - this is something that needs to be said more, I think. She balances it with the awareness that traditional medical doctors are not perfect, either.

However, I think this book is better for those without mental illness who are trying to under
Sasha Boersma
May 31, 2013 Sasha Boersma rated it really liked it
As the DSM-V was being drafted, there was very early talk of merging depression, anxiety disorders, and aspergers under one banner due to so many similarities of symptoms. As we know, that didn't happen, but reading this book sure resonated with me.

The author is brilliantly casual about her experiences with a series of mental disorders, mixed in with her approaches and best practices learned through her healing.

The first half of the book was more engaging than the second, mostly because it was
Jun 01, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
"Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead . . . Instead of creating freely and allowing errors to reveal themselves as insights, we often get mired in getting the details right. We correct our originality into a uniformity that lacks passion and spontaneity" (p. 25, quoting Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way).

. . . a very important message that all depressives should be reminded of when stuck in the Black Hole: that the person underneath the illness never goes away; she only waits fo
Oct 16, 2013 Susie rated it it was ok
Shelves: health, fiftyfiftyme
It's clear the author has read a lot of self-help books, and she often relies on quoting from them instead of sharing her own insights or anecdotes. As someone who personally battles depression and anxiety, I've felt how it can shape/focus from day to day -- but in the content of this book, depression and anxiety change shape DRAMATICALLY and unrelatably -- from substance abuse to bi-polar disorder to motherhood to father issues to abandonment to dependency to addiction to people/exercise/coffee ...more
Lilly Ann Wolvesley
I absolutely LOVE this book. This was the first book about a personal struggle with mental health issues that I really related to. Borchard is a writer, mother, wife and survivor who lives in Annapolis, Maryland. The book chronicles her mental health struggles in a real and honest way. She even relays having panic attacks in bathrooms and hyperventilating in dark closets–the stuff no one wants to hear about, but we can relate to it.
Jun 09, 2013 Tim rated it liked it
While I found this book informative and well written it wasn't what I fully expected it to be. I went in hoping it would be more of a guide outlining some helpful ways to manage or overcome depression. It did contain some useful tidbits but often it just scratched the surface. Perhaps if I was not looking for more i wouldn't have been left feeling a little empty while reading and my rating would have been higher. If you are looking for more of a "self help" book on depression I'm sure there are ...more
Jul 11, 2015 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can survive depression

Many of us have suffered from depression in some form or at some level. The author has suffered through a great many encounters with depression and still managed to write a book that sheds insight on just how dark and hard it can be to try and live a normal live when you don't want to live at all. This book is good for those who suffer from depression and the people who love them.
David Hancock
Jan 22, 2014 David Hancock rated it really liked it
Though the book is more like a blog compilation in structure, it still provides the deep insight to the pain and emotion of being bi-polar. Borchard writes with a refreshing rawness that is unabashed toward the reality of truth. You will laugh out loud and feel her pain at a soul level. I recommend this book to any friend, spouse, or loved one who desires to better understand what it is like to live with a mental health disorder in the context of the American life.
Aug 27, 2014 Jay rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2014
This book was both very entertaining (funny!) and very informative. The author makes it fun to read about depression, of all things.

I picked up this book to try to understand more about depression, because that state is so alien to my own super-optimistic, hyper-happy nature. I think I understand now that some people's brains aren't awash in endless self praise... Exactly the opposite, in fact. It is enlightening to read about what some people suffer from and through.

I did pick this book up befo
Jul 14, 2015 Desiree rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I really loved the author's personal story. I also love how brave she is to tell about her experience. The writing was kinda choppy and the god stuff didn't resonate with me.
May 01, 2015 Cyd rated it really liked it
Insightful and funny, touching. View into what it is like to have bipolar disorder and try to function every day.
Jan 13, 2010 Madelyn rated it liked it
I found this an interesting read, a view from the other side of the usual stigma surrounding bipolar, and other mental, disorders. While it was informative, i also found it somewhat repetitive, and while the author emphasizes the research she's done on her disease to become more informed, sometimes her quoting of others throughout the book detracts from her own story. Nevertheless, i'd definitely recommend this book to anyone suffering from longstanding depression as she details 12 step methods ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Very interesting
Mar 11, 2010 Reaganstar rated it liked it
This book was very personal and appealing to me, as I am a suffering of myself long term of depression, as well as my mother unfortunately. This was actually quite a nice read, due to both the medical facts and the others personal battles, making me and I am sure others feel as if they are not necessarily alone in there battles. My mother is now borrowing this from me. Of course she has suffered issues for well over 40 years, so it will be quite interesting to see her opinions on this as well.
Nov 17, 2012 Pat rated it it was amazing
I don't have clinical depression, but I do have "dark nights of the soul" and have always been into self-improvement. I have been reading Therese's blog, "Beyond Blue", for about a year. I was pleased to see this book and have the opportunity to learn more about her and about depression. It was an eye-opener and I definitely mean to remember what she has described here. Well done, Therese! I wish belessings for you and your family.
Fran Friel
Jan 10, 2011 Fran Friel rated it really liked it
A very personal glimpse into the dark corners of a life lived with depression and anxiety. Told with humor, heart and a great deal of courage, Borchard lays her experience bare, revealing the failings of medicine and society to understand the complex diseases of depression and bi-polar disorder. Born out of her blog, Beyond Blue, the book is highly readable, informative and frightening. Highly recommended.
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Therese Borchard is the author of the hit daily blog “Beyond Blue” on, which is featured weekly on The Huffington Post and was voted by as one of the top 10 depression blogs, and she moderates the popular depression support group, Beyond Blue, on Beliefnet’s social networking site. Therese is the editor of The Imperfect Mom: Candid Confessions of Mothers Living in th ...more
More about Therese J. Borchard...

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“According to Dan Baker, coauthor of What Happy People Know, appreciation is the antidote to fear, and fear—of not having enough or not being enough—causes depression and anxiety.” 0 likes
“tumultuousness, if coupled to discipline and a cool mind, is not such a bad sort of thing. That unless one wants to live a stunningly boring life, one ought to be on good terms with one’s darker side and one’s darker energies.” 0 likes
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