My story represents the chronology of my mental illness over a span of 49 years, as well as my attempts to understand it and cope with it. Selected entries from my journals constitute the source and follow an authentic progression over time. In them, I relate insights about the origin of my disorder. I also describe thoughts and feelings that arose and my reactions to events that took place at various times, as influenced, for better or worse, by psychiatric medications and supplements.
My goal is to save lives. The primary motivation for presenting my history is to encourage others who grapple with either chronic depression or occasional bouts. I hope my journey resonates with some, validates feelings, and sparks the thoughts “I'm not alone” and “I will feel better.” This book can also help family members and friends of the mentally ill, and their caregivers, find compassion and enable them to understand the struggle.
Transcending Depression differs from many other books on the topic in that it is not grounded in clinical experience, scientific research, or empirical evidence, which may make it more approachable than some. It’s not a how-to book, not a model for depressed people to follow, not a toolbox. On the contrary, it shows rather than tells the reader what he or she might do to feel better.
Appendices include my Depression Survival Guide, which offers 36 suggestions to bring relief, and Chess in the Labyrinth, a metaphor that compares defeating depression to winning a chess game.
Surviving Our Parents' Mistakes
Did your parents abuse you as a child?
This book concerns recovery from emotional child abuse. In it, I narrate a number of childhood memories from journals I’ve kept for decades, in which I’ve written my thoughts and feelings. Here I explain how early experiences negatively influenced my adult self-worth and caused difficulty dealing with issues such as anger, depression, obligation, and control. Then I go on to tell what I’ve done, with the support of my wife, the inadvertent assistance of our child, and the help of several excellent therapists, to heal old injuries and forgive my parents.
My writing reflects the progression of my thinking as I stopped blaming my parents for mistreating me and started taking responsibility for my predicament and recovery. I mention some of the stumbling blocks and setbacks I encountered along the way, and finish each chapter with insights that have soothed and enriched my present life, bringing peace and vitality.
In these pages, I relate what has worked for me and suggest strategies that will help other abuse victims.
Table for One
This book concerns living as a sensitive single person in a couples world. In concise entries from my journals, I address pertinent issues including self-esteem, fear of risking, loneliness, insecurity, depression, and commitment. I document my struggles that led to achieving growth and peaceful acceptance. The result is a healthy philosophy for a sensitive person going it alone, whether by virtue or divorce, separation, or death of a partner. The insights that enhanced my personal development will benefit other singles.