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Books

KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT DEPRESSION
By Dr. Michael Yapko
Price: $24.95
Distributor: The Written Word (Contact 1800 636 748)
Available from all good bookshops



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Summary
In Understanding Depression, Dr Michael Yapko, a leading expert on depression, answers 70 of the most commonly asked questions about the subject.

This exceedingly clear question and answer book about depression offers current and practical information in a hurry to help your loved ones through rough times. Michael Yapko has removed all the ‘psychobabble’ by keeping answers brief and to the point, making compelling reading for anyone who is eager to understand the subject of depression.

Understanding Depression is for the person who wants to know right now what depression is about, and what it will take to get things to improve. In this book you will learn what is known about depression in practical no-nonsense terms.

Foreword by Dr Rosie King, author of “Good Loving, Great Sex”

Everyone feels depressed from time to time. A painful experience such as losing a job, the break up of a relationship or even the death of a loved one can make us feel deeply depressed. However these feelings of unhappiness usually soon fade as more pleasant aspects of our lives take over our thoughts and feelings. This transient mood disruption is not the same as the more enduring and often serious mental disorder called major depression, or simply depression.

Depression is one of the most common conditions suffered by humankind. It causes enormous suffering and can even be life-threatening. Depression is no respecter of age or gender, of social or economic status, or of profession or education. It affects all ages, both genders and people from all walks of life. As many as one in 10 men and one in 4 women will suffer depression at some stage in their life. As we have learned more about depression in recent years, we are developing a much better understanding of why depression affects some people and not others. What we know is that it is not a sign of personal or moral weakness nor is it something that mysteriously seems to strike most people from "out of the blue." There are known risk factors for depression, as Dr. Yapko describes, and these conspire to make every one of us vulnerable to depression to one degree or another. Depression is a complex condition with physical, emotional, mental, and social contributing factors.

I know a great deal about depression, not only through my work as a doctor and therapist but also through personal experience. My first symptoms of depression occurred when I was a child in primary school. They returned with a vengeance after the birth of my first child as a prolonged and distressing episode of post-natal depression and then later, less severely, in middle life. Thanks to the help of skilled professionals, effective medication and my own personal growth and change, depression has not controlled my life. In fact my experiences with depression have helped me to become a more compassionate health care professional with a far greater understanding of this distressing disorder.

Unfortunately the stigma associated with 'mental illness' in our society persists. It's no surprise then that depression is a condition that is rarely acknowledged and, compared with other conditions, seldom discussed in the public arena. As a result, most people know very little about depression. Our poor understanding of depression means that we are likely to fail to recognise or ignore early symptoms in ourselves or family members and delay seeking help. This ignorance and bias surrounding depression means that many people (men and women, young and old) suffer in silence, struggling with depressive symptoms. That is terribly unfortunate, because unlike so many other serious disorders, effective treatments for depression are readily available.

There is no doubt that there is an urgent need for information and education about depression. Dr Michael Yapko's book, Keys to Understanding Depression, meets this need. Dr Yapko, an internationally respected authority on depression, explains in down-to-earth terms the facts about depression. He explores a range of treatment options and provides clear answers to those questions most frequently asked by sufferers and their families. The book is deliberately set out in a simple fashion so that even a person suffering from depression, whose concentration may be impaired, can read and easily understand the information.

It is only through educational resources like this that depression will one day be widely considered to be just one of the many treatable disorders we may encounter in our journey through life, and with some foresight, even a preventable one. I extend Dr Yapko my congratulations on providing us with a valuable resource to use in our battle against mental disorders in general and depression in particular. From a personal point of view I offer my sincere appreciation for this indispensable publication.

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About the author

Michael D. Yapko, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist. He is internationally recognised for his work in short-term and outcome-focused psychotherapy. Michael Yapko routinely teaches to professional audiences all over the world, having been invited to present his work in 24 countries spanning six continents.

Besides the many books he has authored, Dr. Yapko penned the authoritative sections of Encyclopedia Britannica's Medical and Health Annuals on "Treating Depression," "Brief Therapy" and "Clinical Hypnosis."

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