Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Thursday, 21 October 2010

First Steps Out of Depression

Scientists have been trying to discover why a large percentage of writers suffer from depression. It's just possible that spending too much time alone, not getting enough fresh air, exercise or sunlight and spending their days in a fantasy world are contributory factors. Among the well-known writers said to have suffered from depression:
  • Hans Christian Anderson - James M Barrie - Samuel Beckett - Robert Burns - Truman Capote -Patricia Cornwell - Charles Dickens - Theodore Dostoevski - TS Eliot - William Faulkner - F Scott Fitzgerald - Ernest Hemingway - Victor Hugo - Franz Kafka - John Keats - Edgar Allen Poe - Dylan Thomas - Leon Tolstoy - Tennessee Williams - Virginia Woolf and many more
Sue Atkinson has written several books including Building Self-Esteem and Climbing out of Depression. She is a mathematics education specialist and the wife of a CoE archdeacon with four grown up children. Her latest book, First Steps out of Depression (pub. Lion Hudson) draws on her own experience of dealing with and recovering from depression. In it, she offers advice and writes about her own depression to let readers know that they are not isolated.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 people suffer from depression, more women than men. 1 in 10 men are sufferers, compared to 1 in 4 women and 4 per cent of 5-16-year-olds in the UK. But that is the tip of the iceberg for not everyone consults their doctor. Most of us feel fed up and a bit down sometimes but that is not depression and it can only be imagined if it is experienced. Telling a depressed person to pull themselves together and snap out of it is a complete waste of time for that is just what they are unable to do. It isn't a simple matter of 'cheering up'.

Sue says 'depression can affect anyone - including those we would imagine must be happy and contented, such as doctors, celebrities, rich people. Some people can be more prone to depression than others. It is an illness that requires help to lift sufferers out of the darkness.' Depression is a result of a change in body chemistry, which is often helped by medication. It isn't something we volunteer to suffer from. 'There seems to be no single cause of depression but it can be a mixture of many different things from what has happened to us in the past to what we think about ourselves in the present.'

In her book, Sue explains the physical signs and the thoughts and feelings that can form part of being depressed. She advises what to do immediately if you are feeling suicidal and how to take the first step towards getting help from your doctor. The book contains 'Myth Busters' that help to dispel fears and misunderstandings about depression and chapters include:

  • information on staying in bed vs grabbing the moment;
  • hiding behind 'I'm' fine' vs acknowledging the truth;
  • drowning in worries vs developing strategies to reduce stress;
  • doing what others want vs making our own decisions;
  • blaming others vs taking responsibility for ourselves;
  • hanging onto resentment vs deciding to let go;
  • choosing despair vs choosing hope;
  • information for families of depression sufferers
  • a list of useful resources

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