Living and Thriving with Depression
I have just completed a first draft manuscript for a self-help book for people suffering with depression related mental illness. The title is the same as this blog.
I have long held the view that many, not all, books dealing with issues around the challenges that we as human beings encounter, are made unnecessarily long.
BEING A READER
Being a reader of hundreds of books that deal with depression, positive mental attitude, nutrition, exercise, and spirituality, I have often come to the end of a book of fifty or sixty thousand words, and thought that the message there-in could have been quite adequately summarised and conveyed in one chapter of say five to ten thousand words.
However, I imagine, to some degree, that publishers would look at a book of between five to ten thousand words and conclude that this book cannot be sold for between twelve and twenty five pounds, so “let’s pad it out” with anecdotal stories (which I am given to describing as “of limited value, if you are unable to read more than a few lines”).
So, I set about writing on the subject of depression in as few words as possible and in as practicable fashion as I could in order to make this accessible to folks who are in a deep dark hole.
You alone will be the judge of how well I did.
I started with a list of chapter headings. Items that I thought in themselves got straight to the “crunch” point, and started to write.
About 6 weeks later I am close to submitting this to my Editor.
Now, I need to be clear about my reasoning here.
With depression, if you pick up a book of three hundred pages of brilliant material which has therein, some superb guidance and helpful suggestion, the person that this is meant for is likely to stack it on their bookshelf and there it will remain.
I know: because I’ve done it, many times.
You see, the problem is that in a depressed state ones attention span can be severely hindered, and thus to read a chapter of five thousand words in itself, can make you feel angry, desperate, and quite nauseous.
I recall on one occasion myself – when in the depths of despair – picking up a book about self-help around the subject of depression and (sadly for this poor unsuspecting harmless little book) it got launched out of my bedroom window as I wept with despair and raged in anger, all at the same time!
“I’M DOING OK, SO….”
Once again, I must be very clear, I am not disrespecting some really great books about this and other related subject matters. I think the important thing to remember here is that many of these books NEED to be picked up when you are not suffering the torment of the damned. And, we all know, when you are well, you are well. It’s human nature to think “I’m doing ok so why would I want to read a self-help book when I’m ok?”
As I have said, in my many exploits in life, I have read hundreds of great books, and, so frequently thought, this book could be a tenth of the size.
Equally, I know as humans we learn in different ways, some of us learn through repetition, some through sound, and some through sight etc.
Bearing this in mind, some people learn and gain clarity by hearing (reading) stories of people from different walks of life, and in some way “connect” with positive suggestion through the stories relayed in these self-help books.
This, though, can be rather haphazard, and one can find themselves reading something that fails to connect in any way at all, and when we care talking specifically about depression, this is like falling deeper into the bottomless crevasse.
THE WAY BACK TO LIGHT
So, I hope, this meagre offering from the “dark side” offers a guide in some way back to light for those of you in need.
And try to remember this: THERE’S NO SHAME IN NEED, and it takes immense courage to ask for, or seek help in your hour of need.
I wish you all well.
With Love, Peace and Hope
PS: Here are some useful links…