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Paperback The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness [With CD] Book

ISBN: 1593851286

ISBN13: 9781593851286

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness [With CD]

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

If you've ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness once and for all. In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to "think" our way out of a bad mood or just "snap out of it" lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Good book. A tiny bit difficult to follow.

This book really expands on the ideas behind mindfulness, however, it is quite wordy.

Waking Up to Your Life Again: A Brilliant Guide to Understanding Depression

I was actually led to seek out information on meditation as a treatment for depression through a book called Surviving America's Depression Epidemic by psychologist Bruce E. Levine. That book takes a highly insightful approach to investigating the sociological and personal genesis for depression and I credit it for saving me from succumbing to this condition. Later, I bought "The Mindful Way through Depression" to supplement Levine's more brief explanation of meditation as a therapeutic modality. This book is the work of three psychologists - Mark Williams, John Teasdale and Zindel Segal - investigating why people who became depressed once would experience constant relapse even after treatment. They were eventually led to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School on the benefits of meditation for stress reduction. The approach they created together is called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which begins with the understanding of human psychology of the Buddhist contemplative traditions of India. Like Dr. Levine, the authors of this book redefine depression -- not as some inherent chemical or genetic fault that needs to be eradicated with psychotropic drugs -- but as a habitual pattern of reactivity against our unpleasant emotions. In Chapter 2, they provide a brilliant, nuanced portrait of depression which is not a monolithic entity, but is composed of patterns of physical sensations, memories, thought-patterns and behaviors. Depressed individuals are often familiar with contractions in the abdomen or chest ("butterflies"), lethargy, rigidity or heaviness, etc. These sensations in turn evoke memories of feeling similarly in the past. Those memories in turn evoke thought patterns associated with those memories; perhaps thoughts that you were worthless, or that the world itself is a harsh place. These thought patterns influence our behavior. All of this gets ingrained into our mind-body complex and can become a habitual pattern that we fall into time and again. The aim of MBCT is to (1) become aware of how this pattern operates and (2) use that awareness to dismantle that pattern. The tool for developing such awareness is mindfulness meditation, which the authors define as "paying attention on purpose and nonjudgmentally, in the present moment." The suspension of judgment is of particular importance. Taking a poignant insight from Buddhist psychology, the authors realized that much of our suffering is due to an aversion towards our own unpleasant experiences. Many people construe "curing" depression with banishing all unpleasant emotions. However, this is neither possible nor desirable. Feelings -- both the pleasant and unpleasant -- are important messengers that convey vital information about ourselves and our lives. However, when depressed, we often become paralyzed by our unwillingness to be with our fear, regret, anger, anxiety, etc. By developing a more nonjudgmental attitude toward our emotions

If you ever get depressed or get caught up in negative thinking, , you need to read this!

This is truly an excellent method of working to accept and overcome the problems of depression. I have read some of the classic books on depression and cognitive therapy such as David Burns' "Feeling Good", and this is a much more comprehensive approach, based on the principles of cognitive therapy but with the addition of mindfulness. This approach is also good for people who aren't really clinically depressed but who get caught up in negative thinking patterns and low self esteem: "Why me?" "I'm a loser", "I'll never get ahead", etc... The book has a great cd with it to teach you exactly how to practice the mindfulness exercises. I hesitate to use the term meditation because people tend to start thinking things like "I can't meditate", "It's too hard", etc... By the time you read the book, you will understand that meditation is not hard at all, it's just a matter of doing it, and it can be done in as little as 3-5 minutes and still be worthwhile. It's not a matter of "contemplating your navel" but rather just learning to BE in the present moment, to watch one's thoughts arise and fall away, to slow down, to look at what is happening in one's body and in one's mind. Nothing at all difficult about it. You can do it. And you will find it worthwhile if you do it for a few weeks. I highly recommend this book to people suffering from depression. Another very good book for certain types of depression and anxiety that I highly recommend is "Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward, which helped me a great deal. One more book I will recommend not so much specifically for depression but because it teaches the value and technique of "mindfulness", is Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Wherever You Go, There You Are". The last thing I will say is that just reading any of these books is not enough! You MUST do the exercises and put mindfulness into practice! You will be glad you did!

Groundbreaking approach

This is a ground-breaking method in the treatment of depression by combining C.B.T. with Buddhist mindfulness practice. The descriptions and exercises for meditating have helped me to overcome my resistance(s) to practice. I also have discovered "moving meditation" that can be done with walking, swimming, whatever to reach a result that is even more enlightening than classic sitting meditation practice. I also realize from my past deep depressions that any practice seems hard because it is extremely difficult to overcome "inertia" and cut through the cognitive "fog" symptoms that accompany the disease. Hopefully, the moving meditation practice and some simple cognitive practices described here could be effective even under the duress of a full blown relapse. This book is also very well written and clearly readable.


This book is very different from most books on depression that I have read and there have been many. Most of the books try and help you worry your way through depression. This book says you need to think about other things and realize that everybody is depressed at one time or another but they don't start thinking of themselves as a depressed person. This is one of the worse things you can do. It gives you breathing exercise, to try and live in the moment instead of always feeling bad about the past or worrying about the future. Just that much has helped me. There is cd that goes along with some of the teaching exercises which is very helpful in fact I don't know of too many books that have a cd to go with it or a cd that has a book that goes with it. This book and "Magnificent Addiction" are the 2 best books I have read that help with depression and anxiety. Addictions can many many things including being addicted to depression and anxiety.

The Mindful Way through Depression

I highly recommend this book. I have suffered from depressed for a long time, and I am always looking for new ways to cope with my depression. I found this book to be most helpful in describing useful techniques to deal with my depression. The book is written in very layman language and is easily understandable. To my knowledge the four professionals who wrote this book collaborated their ideas, and came up with a scheme that was relatively easy to follow. I take anti-depressant medications that enable me to get up to "base line", but after that, if I do not have some way of facing every day problems, I find myself in the dump of depression again. This book helps me to stay up, and not slip back too far into depression. Medications are very helpful, but by themselves, they can not keep one at base line (or what some people call "normal.") Once we reach base line, we depressed persons, need help in staying at that level. The teachings of this book definitely has helped me in this endeavor. I do not say this book totally cured me of depression (I don't think anything ever will.) However, the information in the book has been a big help to me, and I can cope with depression much better than I did before I read the book.
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