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Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby jims » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:17 pm

I found this book to be fascinating. I really related to it because I was one a locked ward for a month.
Jim S

[b]Voluntary Madness [/b]by Norah Vincent

2008. Viking, NY, NY

The author posing as someone needing hospitalization was admitted to three different facilities for the insane. Her description of the people, places, and her reactions are very insightful. One hospital mostly dealt with people at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder; the staff was overburdened and indifferent. Putting the patients on strong medication was the only treatment provided. Another was a peaceful private clinic. The third offered alternative treatments that seemed to be able to really help those who wanted help.

Although the book does not set out to bash the widespread use of pills as many books do, the author does report on drugs formed the backbone of treatment in some of the facilities. She shunned drugs for herself. Her opinion of the nearly life-long use of medication by the mentally ill was summarized with "I just didn't want to be dependent for the rest of my life on a drug whose effects neither I nor the professionals could understand or predict, and whose glowing reputation had been based almost entirely on the meticulous propaganda of the companies that were profiting hugely from its sale."

Reading Norah Vincent's observations of the public hospital, I alternated beween rage and pity. The patients were treated in an almost inhuman fashion. They had little hope of having any sort of life. Most of them had been in an out of such places many times and would probably be in and out of those places for much of their lives. They were given heavy doses of pills that caused awful side effects. Yet, the author saw beyond the poor behavior of the institution. She said, "...developing relationships with people who are not only disturbed but quite often uncooperative, manipulative, and willfully irresponsible is a job that people with an overabudance of fellow feeling often find too unrewarding, infuriating, and exhausting to perform." At the hospital she found the patients confused and disoriented, but not dangerous. She described communicating with her fellow patients: "When I spoke to them, I wasn't speaking to someone who processed information in socially common or easily navigable ways. It was different, and often it was harder, more off-putting, and even unpleasant."

The other two facilities she lived in offered much more in the way of help, but the patients did not all do well. When she saw that excellent programs did not always give excellent results she drew some insightful conclusions. "... a person's condition has less to do with his recovery than his personality, his willingness to change." ".. the number of people in any group who were willing to take responsibility for thieir own lives and behavior is always small. " "the vast majority of people don't want to participate in their own recovery. They are unwilling to try.." "...are often lazy, stubbornly self-indulgent, passive, and irresponsible. Twelve-step groups say as much. A major tradition in all such groups is that the requirement for membership is a desire to change (stop drinking, stop using drugs, stop gambling, etc.). Forcing someone to go to rehab or to meetings does not often work.

I was impressed with how the author compared physical diseases like diabetes to mental illness like depression. Although a person does not cuase his own diabetes, often he does things that greatly aggravate it. He eats too many sweet foods, does not exercise, and picks up a lot of weight. Research for many, many years has proven that exercise helps depression, but very few depressed individuals will even try any exercise.

I recommend the book for everyone with an interest in mental illness. It should be read by every professional who has the power to send someone to a hospital. Perhaps the book's greatest benefit is in describing how one really feels when locked up in a mental health facility. As one who was once locked away, I know that many people just do not understand the hell one experiences during and after being on a locked ward.
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby sharif556 » Mon May 30, 2011 3:03 pm

Mania depression is called major depression. There is number of information about maniac depression in the following link.
http://fightingdepression.co.uk
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby lej2012 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:19 pm

I read a book on depression treatment this weekend "You Can Cure Your Depression" by Dr. Blair B. Masters. It's about how the things you can do to treat your depression with out using anti-depressants. I think it's a very helpful book. It made me think about depression in an entirely different light. Not as something that is purely genetic and without a real cure besides anti-depressants that simply covers-up problems without really treating the cause. There's a lot of helpful information about what supplements make you feel better, emotionally. And it's a really great guide for how to control your mindset and what to do when you start feeling as though your falling back into depression. A lot of great tips on what types of foods to eat and avoid. It explained to me (in a way I could understand) how depression affects the body and what comes in to play with that. I recommend this book to whoever is interested in these types of things. I'm not sure where else it's available but I got the book on Amazon for free this weekend! I think it'll be free through today and available cheaply after that from what I gather from FB posts etc. You should check it out and get it while it's free! I hope this helps and feel better!
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby changestreatment » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:33 am

Wow! Thank you for all these suggested readings. It would really help me understand some of the possible roots of my melancholia. It really keeps my mind off it. Sort of. And recognizing them makes it easier for me to deal with them.
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby aika19 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:36 pm

I wanted to share this eBook I found with you- it really helped me. :wink:

*link removed by mod*
Last edited by janjones on Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: link removed - no advertising in posts
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby Kashellia » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:38 am

I have recently started reading a really good self help book. Its called "You Can Heal Your Life" the author is Louise L Hays. This book doesn't talk specifically about depression, but it is a really good tool to have when suffering with depression. This book teaches you how to retrain your brain and your thought patterns. It talks about how to deal with trauma in the past and the best way in which to be able to move on from past traumas. This book has been fundamental in helping me conquer my depression and creating a healthier and more positive life for myself. It talks about how certain emotions that you let build up can manifest into physical ailments aswell as other mental health illness'. Through out the book there is little activities you do to help with the process. But the basis of this book is about learning how to unlearn all the negative and unhealthy thought patterns, and learning how to create healthy and positive thought patterns. It helps you to also understand why certain things may have happened to you. I was a big skeptic at first and i believed that just retraining your thought pattern wouldnt achieve much, but i didn't have anything to loose to i gave it a chance. I have been pleasantly surprised with this book. So much of what is written in the pages makes so much sense when you start reading it, things fall into place in you head. Its a valuable book to have in your library, its really handy when you having one of those really bad days or weeks, pick up this book start reading and it helps to bring you out of your downer.

Title :
You Can Heal Your Life
Author :
Louise L Hays
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby pistils » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:47 pm

On the Bipolar topic, I started a thread about an article in the NY Times entitled, "Can Mushrooms Treat Depression?".
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Re: Books: Depression, S.A.D, Manic Depression etc

Postby Cinnamongirl » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:57 pm

The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon. Solomon is a poetic writer. Suffers from depression himself. The book is about his own struggles interwoven with interviews of people who have various mental disorders. I didn't feel so alone after reading this book.

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