Growing from Depression: A Self-Help Guide
Depression is an opportunity as well as a cost.
Posted Sep 14, 2012
Growing From Depression—rather than, say, Recovering from Depression or Defeating Depression—is a counterintuitive, perhaps even provocative, title for a book on depression. I chose it for what I think are three very good reasons.
First, I wanted to challenge the general perception of people with depression. Rather than being ‘lazy’ or ‘losers’, they are often, as I will argue, among some of the most ambitious, truthful, and courageous of all people.
Second, while I would never wish it on anyone, depression can challenge us to identify and address long-standing life problems, opening us out onto a much brighter future.
Third, and perhaps most obviously, the journey out of depression is one of learning: learning about oneself, of course, but also learning life skills such as managing stress and coping with boredom, and, above all, learning to rediscover the little things that make life worth living and loving.
In emphasizing the good that can come from depression, I hope to encourage and empower you to tackle the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that are the core of the condition, and, like Baron Munchausen, to pull yourself out of the swamp by your own bootstraps.
As poor concentration is a common feature of depression, I have divided the self-help section into short, self-contained modules, enabling you, should you so wish, to dip in and out of the book, and to focus on whatever seems most interesting or useful. I have also tried to be as succinct as possible.
I wish you the best of luck on your quest.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.
—JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Neel Burton is author of Growing from Depression and other books.