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CHALLENGING DEPRESSION AND DESPAIR

A medication-free, self-help programme that will change your life

By Angela Patmore
ISBN 9781845284398
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Paperback
B&w photos, illustrations & diagrams
236 Pages
6 X 9.25

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This book is offered as a lifeline to people at the bottom of the bottomless pit of depression. It will explain the research and the thinking behind the 'tough love' approach, much of which may be new to you because it flies in the face of current trends. With positive, common sense strategies, this book enables you to regain emotional control, showing that it is possible to combat depression without resorting to drugs or costly and often ineffective therapy. The first part of the book offers fresh insights into depression and into how it can be overcome. The second offers practical advice, culminating in a series of challenges that will enable you to change your entire attitude to emotional health and achieve a more positive and hopeful outlook on life. To be of any real use to someone in despair, a self-help programme must provide, step by step, a practical stairway out of hell. This is that stairway. AUTHOR BIOG: THE AUTHOR is a former international Fulbright Scholar, UEA research fellow, external expert 'stress' adviser to the Metropolitan Police, and highly successful life skills trainer. 'Widely regarded as a heartless bitch' (The New Statesman), Angela Patmore is one of the UK's fiercest critics of the 'stress' management industry. The government-backed Restart programme for the long-term unemployed in Colchester for which she was the course trainer had by far the best record in the region and got people back to work who had serious social and psychological problems. Her expose of 'stress management', The Truth About Stress, was shortlisted for the 2007 MIND Book of the Year Award. CONTENTS: Introduction Part 1 CONQUERING DEPRESSION - THE KNOWLEDGE 1. Drugs for Despair 'Pull yourself together' 'Out of the medicine chest into the mouth' 'Sunshine pills' Other SSRIs Seroxat And finally - how well do they work? Notes 2. 'Is It Just Me?' The depression pandemic To hell with that lot - what about me? Emotions under new management Are my feelings symptoms? Nobody understands me 3. When Words Fail You Scientists 'discover' literature How literature 'works' The 'blue devils' Exercise Note 4. The 'Born Loser' Mindsets of doom Deaf to all entreaties The 'gloom and doom' merchants The Puritans and the 'castaway' Defying 'fate' - Daniel Defoe Exercise 5. Mental Illness Labels The 'I need a syndrome' syndrome Wounding the mind Problems with 'PTSD' Notes 6. The Harm of Calm The 'stress' business Sloppy science Notes 7. Crises and Revelations Escapist strategies Revelations and epiphanies 'Complexity science' The brain's battle stations The light at the end of the tunnel Notes 8. Stop 'Giving Up the Ghost' Resignation, not 'stress' The sting in the tail The helpless profile Helpless thinking How NOT to be helpless The need for pressure Bullying Notes 9. Accepting Loss Coming to terms with loss Self-pity Types of loss Loss itself Mourning Five little lifelines Four-legged loss 10. Going for the 'CC' The arousal curve Going for the golden feeling CC pursuits Assignment Thrill-seeking The arts Go on - give yourself a thrill! 11. Getting Tough Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde revisited Life skills Mental strength and weakness 'Hardening' Now I'd like you to meet Esmeralda! Brain training made easy Inside the blackened room Note 12. Meet the Advisory Panel The Team Part 2 BEATING DESPAIR - THE CHALLENGES 13. One - The Unblocker Challenge A sense of wonder Why do people just sit there? Improvisation Rules for improvising The unblocker What panel members thought Note 14. Two - The Fitness Challenge Nature and despair The dirty word Gym Swim Slim Slowly does it What panel members thought 15. Three - The Task Challenge Problem-solving grids 'Brainstorming"Oh-no' tasks What panel members thought 16. Four - The Social Challenge Nervousness Being 'shy' Go up and talk Doormats and divas Assertiveness exercises Taking the social challenge What panel members thought 17. Five - The Mood Change Challenge The 'before and after' face experiment Emotional victims and emotional victors Engaging with the arts Classical music Great works of fiction Classics of the cinema What panel members thought Notes 18. Six - The Nature Challenge Big open spaces 'Barrier beliefs' Record your experience Getting involved with Nature Gardening What panel members thought Notes 19. Seven - The Performance Challenge Nerves are good, boring is bad On their hind legs Presentation skills Two kinds of presentation Eleven tips for preparing talks Flying by the seat of your pants Keeping a record What panel members thought 20. Eight - The Creative Challenge You are creative! Hemispheres Imagination Off with the fairies Originality The screen-staring society How to 'step aside'? What panel members thought Note 21. Nine - The Fear Challenge The scared dog puzzle Phobias galore! The mouse fear Desensitisation Going towards fear Pinning down your fears Trouncing fear - the nature of the ninth challenge Psychological dares What panel members thought 22. Ten - The Life Challenge The slow sedation of wants Your own motivation Dreams and goals Taking the pledge Index.