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Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter Along the Path to Hope and Healing
Serani, Deborah
Rowman & Littlefield / Hardcover / 2011-05-01 / 1442210567
Depression & Manic Depression
price: $32.95
199 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

In the US, major depressive disorder afflicts more than 20 million adults and children every year. Living with Depression details the various forms and manifestations of depression alongside Serani's own personal and professional experiences with depression. Clinical definitions, updated research, and the promise of science serve not only as a resource guide for anyone who has depression or loves someone with this disorder, but also as a testament to those who live productively with mental illness.


New York psychologist Serani helps patients understand their depression by first understanding what depression is, and then how to navigate the complex system of seeking effective treatment. In the first chapter, Serani shares her own experience with debilitating depression with hopes that her experience 'will serve as an encouraging reminder that depression can be treated.' As she moves into the more scientific sections of the book, she uses examples from her personal and professional experiences to provide more rounded explanations. She understands and acknowledges the reserves people have about using medication and consciously addresses the different treatments with that in mind. The aim of this book is to help patients come to terms with the diagnosis and the attendant stigma attached. . . . Much of the focus is on being proactive and utilizing available resources.
— Publishers Weekly

An extremely well-written exploration of the illness....This resource-rich guidebook outlines the forms of depression, covers various treatments, offers guidance on choosing a therapist, and helps readers navigate health-care challenges like insurance reimbursement. Serani begins on a very personal note, relating her own struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, followed by a decades-long search for the right treatment. Her frustration is likely to resonate with others who feel that depression is controlling their lives, and the subsequent chapters on how to live with the illness are likely to provide comfort and empowerment.
— Foreword Reviews, September 2011

Psychologist Serani shares her own experience and related research in an effort to help all those suffering from depression to understand the disease and negotiate the labyrinth of health-care options and stigma attached to depression. She advocates knowing one's triggers, avoiding toxic people, staying connected with support systems, and making a plan to thwart suicide attempts. Serani offers validity and help to those who suffer from mood disorders but feel ashamed or don't know where to turn for help. This is a valuable resource with the potential to save lives.
— Library Journal

It delivers—with details about her own depression and treatment woven into a useful primer geared to the suffering and their families....Her advice extends beyond the usual.
— Newsday

This book is a rare find. Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing manages to explain depression in terms of human biology and experience without downplaying either aspect....Not only does Living with Depression give a truly holistic view of depression and its treatments, it gives it in an easily understandable format....Perhaps most impressive is how the author has also included a section on how to find a therapist, doctor, and alternative treatment—often the biggest hurdle for people seeking treatment. She also describes how to find affordable medication and tips on communicating with insurance companies. These issues are often omitted from books, so while readers may end up understanding their illness, they have no idea what to do about it....Living with Depression is not a medical or psychological treatise, it is perhaps something better: an easy, comprehensive explanation of depression and how to get help.
— NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Serani offers a guide book with a soul. She clearly writes of the trials of major depression and the promise of science. She does so as a gutsy clinical psychologist who shares the wisdom made from her suffering, not just from her training. She rarely shrank from the challenges of mental illness however they appeared, which will serve as an inspiration to most readers. Her comments on the roadblocks of stigma remind us that the pain of depression, and most mental illness, arises not solely from the illness, but from the harsh response society has to people with these disorders.
— Patrick Corrigan, distinguished professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology

As someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, I know the accompanying journey of depression and hopelessness well. I also know the fear of sharing that journey with others. Deborah Serani courageously shares her path of despair to hope and healing with the intent of helping others from what she has learned and experienced. She also does it to continue to break the stigma that needlessly surrounds mental illness. In Living with Depression, she succeeds with her messages of hope. May this book reach the far corners of both people who suffer from mental illness and those who need to understand it.
— Michelle Linn-Gust Ph.D, President, American Association of Suicidology and author of Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief

I found Living with Depression to be not only fascinating but, since the author suffers from depression herself, also compassionate, understanding and informative. Bravo!
— Jessie Close,

Sometimes, with the best of intentions and efforts, psychological professionals can't get across essential information to their patients. Living with Depression bridges that gap in communication. I wish this book had been around when I first began to deal with depression—and I will still use it as a guidebook in the future. Patients can benefit from the doctor's perspective and doctors can learn from their patients. That both are the same gifted author is a blessing to all who deal with mental illness.
— Delta Burke, Actress

About the Author:

Dr. Deborah Serani is a psychologist in private practice in New York. She has appeared as an expert on various media outlets including,, ABC News, All You magazine, Newsday, Baby Talk magazine, Chicago Sun-Times,, Wall Street Journal Health Blog, Washington Post Health Blog,, and many more. She has also published articles in academic journals.

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Depression & Manic Depression
Rowman & Littlefield