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Jenn Berman

Professional Personal Growth Expert

Best Depression Books & Depression Help

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It has been estimated by the World Health Organization that 340 million people worldwide currently suffer from depression. In the US alone, it is believed that 28 million people struggle with depression, not including those who experience subclinical symptoms, which means people who have many of the symptoms but not so many that they qualify for a clinical diagnosis. The impact of depression can range from upsetting to completely debilitating and even life-threatening. If you or someone you know is experiencing a significant depression, the first line of defense is seeing a qualified physician to rule out medical causes and then a psychological professional to diagnose and treat it. Even while working with professionals, bibliotherapy can be very helpful. Here are some of the best books on the market:

Best Books for Dealing with Depression by Jenn Berman

The Best You Can Get

  • Depression for Dummies

    Jenn says: This comprehensive book on depression not only helps readers understand depressive symptoms, types of depression, medication options, thinking patterns, treatment options, and exercise, but it also explores alternative treatments like supplements, herbs, and vitamins. This well-researched book is a great starting point.

    • By Dr. Laura Smith and Dr. Charles Elliott
  • The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-Step Program

    Jenn says: Packed with quizzes, tables, sidebars, and tools, this workbook does a particularly great job addressing depressive thinking and rumination. Knaus helps readers examine the many different type of depressive thinking and provides concrete suggestions to help change destructive thought patterns. The section on improving sleep to help depression is particularly practical and useful.

    • By Dr. William Knaus
  • You Can Choose to Be Happy: Rise above Anxiety, Anger and Depression

    Jenn says: Stevens borrows theory from some of the masters of psychology and happiness like Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Victor Frankl, and Wayne Dyer. The format of this book makes it easy to read or skim through but you won’t want to because it is such a valuable read. This book is valuable, not just for those with depression or anxiety, but also for readers who want to improve their own lives or generally be happier.

    • By Dr. Tom Stevens
  • Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time: The New Behavioral Activation Approach to Getting Your Life Back

    Jenn says: This is a very good book on depression that is filled with cognitive behavioral strategies. The helpful and easy-to-use workbook format allows users to gain insight about their own depression and what behaviors may exacerbate the condition. The authors provide many basic tools and strategies to help readers.

    • By Dr. Michael Addias and Dr. Christopher Martell
  • The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression

    Jenn says: This book follows the ACT principles, which are A for Accept, C for Choose, and T for Take Action, which is a particularly effective approach for working with depression. The authors believe that depression is always a result of living a life that is out of balance in some way and stress a “values-based” approach. The book is filled with writing exercises, worksheets, and self-tests and, as a bonus, this book comes with a CD that contains guided imagery and mindful exercises.

    • By Dr. Kirk Strosahl and Dr. Patricia Robinson

You will be happy with any of these

  • The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

    Jenn says: The authors focus on healing depression using non-judgmental awareness to live in the present, which they call mindfulness. This book would be most helpful for those suffering from mild depression and who are open to Eastern-leaning philosophies. I particularly liked the section of which discusses how focusing on how we “should feel” (i.e. "I should be happy now") can make depression worse. The book helps readers use deep breathing, intuition, and the mind body connection to get in touch with feelings. This book also includes a CD to guide the reader in performing body scan, yoga, breathing, and mindfulness exercises.

    • By Dr. Mark Williams, Dr. John Teasdale, Dr. Zindel Segal, and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Listening to Depression: How Understanding Your Pain Can Heal Your Life

    Jenn says: Honos-Webb views a depression as a wake up call for change and an opportunity for growth. The goal of this book is to act as “a guide for translating your symptoms of depression into meaningful communications to you about your life path.” In this book, she provides a fresh prospective on depression and insights along with useful exercises.

    • By Dr. Lara Honos-Webb
  • Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You

    Jenn says: This out-of-the-ordinary book helps readers understand and address their depression on a deeper level. O’Conner, who himself struggled with depression, helps readers examine their emotions, behaviors, thinking, relationships, and sense of self. While not including a workbook, this well-written book could be particularly useful with any one of the cognitive behavioral workbooks.

    • By Dr. Richard O’Conner
  • Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression

    Jenn says: Luciani enlightens readers about the negative thinking patterns that contribute to depression and anxiety and provides an action plan for choosing healthier thoughts and behaviors. This book is filled with self-quizzes to help readers identify their personality type from a group that includes: worrywarts, hedgehogs, turtles, chameleons, and perfectionists.

    • By Dr. Joseph Luciani
  • The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom

    Jenn says: I wanted to make sure to include at least one book that has an Eastern approach to treating depression. Unlike many of the other Eastern type books on depression, this book does not take a stance against Western medicine. Emmons identifies three main forms of depression (anxious, agitated, and sluggish) and pinpoints the three corresponding intellectual/physical/spiritual “types.” He uses mindfulness meditation, mind-body medicine, dietary recommendations, supplements, exercise, and stress-relieving techniques to help readers attack their depression using a holistic approach.

    • By Dr. Henry Emmons with Rachel Kranz

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