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Overcoming Depression: A Step-by-Step Approach to Gaining Control Over Depression [Paperback]

By Paul Gilbert (Author)
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Item description for Overcoming Depression: A Step-by-Step Approach to Gaining Control Over Depression by Paul Gilbert...

St. John's Wort, Prozac, psychotherapy, support groups--today's individual suffering from depression has a laundry list of treatments to choose from. For many, Paul Gilbert's self-help manual Overcoming Depression--based on the highly effective technique of cognitive behavioral therapy--will provide a lifeline to recovery and a better future, as a way to understand and thus resist the downward slide of depression, and as a resource to supplement therapy or medication.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, which treats emotional disorders by changing negative thought-patterns, is now internationally established as a key method for overcoming conditions such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and eating disorders. The principle behind this form of therapy is that our thoughts have a major impact on our emotions: a person who goes through life thinking "I am unlovable," or "I'll never achieve anything," will find constant evidence to support his or her beliefs. In Overcoming Depression, Gilbert explains the many forms and causes of depression and lays out clinically proven techniques for dealing with this debilitating condition. This book will help people gain insight into problem areas such as perfectionism, shame, anger, and aggression, and how these areas can become exacerbated by depression.
Overcoming Depression illustrates a systematic program of treatment by which people can monitor their thoughts, learn to recognize negative patterns, and challenge them. With step-by-step suggestions, case examples, thought-monitoring sheets, and practical ideas for gaining control over depression, Gilbert offers a course of action for those suffering from depression to change the way they think about themselves and their problems.
The Second Edition of Overcoming Depression presents new statistics and findings from the last three years, and offers new chapters on causes for depression including "Biology and Stress," "How Evolution May Have Shaped Depression," and "Early Life, Psychological and Social Aspects." In a new chapter on guilt Gilbert differentiates between guilt and shame, and examines the relationship between guilt and depression and how to deal with those who make us feel guilty. Finally, a new preface and a new brief discussion of St. John's Wort complete the text.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 24, 2001
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0195143116  
ISBN13  9780195143119  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul Gilbert

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Gilbert has over twenty years of experience treating depressed people. He is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Head of Specialty, Adult Mental Health for the Southern Derbyshire Mental Health Trust.

Paul Gilbert currently resides in Derby.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Mental Health > Depression
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Mental Health > General
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > Mental Illness

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Reviews - What do customers think about Overcoming Depression: A Step-by-Step Approach to Gaining Control Over Depression?

A very intellectual approach which works for me, perhaps you too.  Aug 13, 2007
This is one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of depression. Paul Gilbert uses a very rational, intellectual approach, that of cognitive behavior therapy, which may not appeal to some people. Gilbert makes sense to me, and appeals to my rational mind as I try to figure out my own thought processes which can lead me to spiral down into depression.

One small critique I have is that he stresses evolution too much throughout the book. The third chapter is "Causes of Depression: How Evolution May Have Shaped Depression." You can skip this chapter if you also do not give much credence to the theory of evolution. It will add nothing to your quest to recover from depression. I do not believe that depression in people evolved; I believe that we are created "as is" and that being separated from God is a root cause of many of the ills people suffer today. That "hole in the soul" causes pain and we try and fill it with all sorts of substitutes, including alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, cheating, and possessions. So I believe that depressives are actually more sensitive to the pain of life that is the truth. I don't believe that life here on Earth was ever meant to be joyous, that we are to find our ultimate joy in Heaven.

That being said, I also don't think God meant us to be miserable! How can we work for His purposes when we are not even able to crawl out of bed and take a shower? This book may take more energy to read than most people will have when they are in the grips of depression. If you are being medicated, and you feel you can explore the reasons your mind betrays you and helps you slide into the black hole, do read this book. I think it would help tremendously, in conjunction with physical help from medications and perhaps counseling.
Stop Bullying Yourself  Jan 19, 2007
Many self-help books seem to repeat themselves explaining the theories and characteristics of depression. However, Paul Gilbert goes two steps further. He speaks in everyday language and most importantly, he offers ideas to turn off the negative breathing dragon, which I call depression.

I have fought depression and its affects since first taking myself to an emergency mental health clinic in November 1991. Until, then I knew I was having problems, but I could not identify what was bothering me. Putting down the bottle and the drugs was only the beginning.

I also sought help from numerous psychiatrists. The counseling offered by social services was limited. Although the psychiatrists and the counselors were helpful, they were only interested in keeping people out of what I call the Red Zone, which is promising them that I will not hurt myself or others. In addition, I worked many twelve step programs. Yet, I kept feeling bad at times. My anxiety also increased.

Paul Gilbert's "Overcoming Depression" is not the quick fix; I don't think anything is' however, Chapters 9-12 of Overcoming Depression is helping me stop feeding my negative self-image. I am not the helpless, jerk I thought I was. I am not the weak bumbling cry baby my ex-girl called me. Because I did not have other choices, I also criticize myself for not making the progress I thought I should make. Gilbert calls this self-bullying.

He also tells me to stop seeking approval from others. In response, I am going to start telling myself the good things about myself and rely on myself for confirmation about myself. Gilbert not only offers me hope, but shows me what I was doing wrong and what are the right things to do.
I highly recommend this book to everyone with depression and those who love those who have depression.

Great book if you are depressed and skeptical  Feb 13, 2006
This book treats the reader very well. He acknowledges the problem of getting started with a program to overcome depression, and even suggests which chapters to skip if you want to get going quickly. Mr. Gilbert never talks down to the reader. For its focus on practical results and its thoughtfully organized, compassionate approach to the reader, I say this book is a cut above all others I've seen and a great thing to have if you would like to overcome depression. If you are depressed, then you will know that many writings on this subject speak an alien language that makes it clear that the author doesn't really understand depressed people. This book is the opposite of that. It anticipates your skepticisms and doubts in a straightforward way that are incredibly useful in keeping your mind applied to the goal of overcoming depression.
Every depressed or insecure person should read this book - and I should know.  Jan 1, 2006
I know the guidelines asks us not to comment on other reviews but I signed up to write a review specifically because I was afraid the last review might turn off someone like me who really could benefit from reading this excellent book. I don't know why the last review mischaracterized the book - I wonder if she's got the right book, because she doesn't mention a single thing about what this book is entirely about: recognizing the negative leaps in logic that we make that bring us down. It's very rational and well-thought out and it's the first thing that's given me any hope in a very long time. It's all about normal mental habits and trying to break them when they aren't helping us. Warm milk? Naps? If they're in there somewhere, I must have missed them. I don't know what that person has against this book but it sounds like they didn't read it.

The book's author seems to understand a lot about what it's like to be depressed, much more than any of my clueless therapists ever have. The first thing I saw from it is that most of my depression and sadness isn't a result of what happens to me - it's a result of my *reactions* to what happens to me, and the conclusions I draw from them without questioning. I don't know how this sounds to someone who hasn't read it, I know I'm usually really skeptical about things, but this book really helped me, and nothing else ever has.

I was thumbing through this book in the store, and the example that convinced me to buy the book goes something like this... Let's say you're expecting a phone call from a friend/lover and they don't call. Your line of thought might go something like this:
"He/she hasn't phoned.
This is because he/she has forgotten about me.
Maybe he/she had better or more fun things to do.
If he/she cared about me, he/she would have phoned.
Therefore, he/she doesn't really care.
I don't ever seem to be able to find someone who cares about me.
What's wrong with me?
Maybe I am just too boring and unattractive.
I'll never have a good, long-lasting relationship.
I'll always end up abandoned.
Life is completely pointless and empty."

Well, I saw that, and I said, omigod, that's ME... 20 years of medication and therapy and nobody ever pointed out to me that I do that. I take one possibly negative thing, and make a quick cascade of negative conclusions about it, and those conclusions get me down, maybe more so than whatever set them off in the first place. It's almost subconscious but I see it now, it's not the person not calling that's getting me down - it's me doing it to myself!

And that's just the starting point. It's in the introductory first part of the book's three parts. For the rest of the book he has specific exercises aand concrete suggestions to help you see exactly where you habitually do things to bring yourself down worse than you would be otherwise. Hey, maybe life really *does* suck - but that doesn't mean you have to make it even worse for yourself. And that's sure what I was doing.

After 20 years of chronic depression, with no help from medication or therapy (and I've been through a LOT of both) this book was the first time I ever saw light on the horizon. I'm far from being free of depression, but for the first time since I was 14 it at least seems possible. I strongly recommend checking it out.

So, if any of this sounds at all like you, here's what I think you should do... Ignore what total strangers on some website say. I hope this site will allow me to say something like this on their website, because I'm saying it in the hope it will help someone like me... But what you should do is go to your local bookstores, find a copy of this book and thumb through it yourself just to see, then if you decide you want it, come back and and order it from this site! But please, don't let that one weird review dissuade you from checking it out. I highly recommend it. I found it completely amazing, I'm really glad I found it, it's the first thing that's helped give me hope in a very long time.
Warmed-up fare  Jul 2, 2005
I find "Overcoming Depression" an uninspiring read. It feels too flabby. And like another book I've read in this series (the Melanie Fennell), it can sometimes come across as fairly trite. Here are some examples: "Don't worry about not getting enough sleep. Margaret Thatcher only slept for four hours a day!" So that's alright then. "A milky drink before bed may help." And yet it may not: is this cold or warm milk we're talking about here? don't some kinds of milk actually stimulate the brain? "Also don't catnap during the day. If I sleep for longer than fifteen minutes during the afternoon, this can really mess up my night's sleep." First he says don't catnap, then he says he does catnap, then he doesn't give any advice on how to avoid catnapping which is surely the essential bit. This might seem like nitpicking but these sample quotes are just from a couple of pages, and turning the page I see we have the following howler on antidepressant drugs: "Many people worry that these drugs are addictive, but they are not." Not a word about the major issue of withdrawal symptoms, something which can occur even when the drugs haven't worked. The later chapter on drugs is also silent on the matter. Maybe this is all straightened out in the American edition, or the revised edition (I admit I got hold of the English edition from 2000). It needs to be. As it stands it feels at best uninformed and at worst irresponsible - a book about depression written by someone who doesn't appear to know about antidepressants, not good is it."Overcoming Depression" could simply do with a going over by a semi-intelligent editor's red pen. It's a shame really, because cognitive behavioral therapy is such a gold mine. Hence the two stars - it's not worthless, just not very well written. Self-help books can be intelligent, informative, *and* feature inspired and interesting writing. Check out "Essential Help for your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes. If you have nervous fatigue, or want to overcome stress, fear, panic attacks, you couldn't do better. It just feels as if it's written by someone who's not copying out of the manual, who writes as if they're setting down their life's work, who writes advice in an interesting and unpatronising way that will stay with you, that you'll remember - which is the point really. Mind you, she mentions the milk thing too.

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