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From Survive to Thrive: Living Your Best Life with Mental Illness
Margaret S. Chisolm, MD with John Hanc | Foreword by Cal Ripken Jr. | Illustrated by Natasha Chugh
Johns Hopkins U Press / Hardcover / Oct 2021
9781421441580 (ISBN-10: 1421441586)
price: $29.95 (may be subject to change)
168 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

What's holding you back? Learn how to take the steps needed to get to a place where you are happier, more productive, and more at peace.

Are you struggling with personal problems, a mental health condition, or addiction? Are you looking to permanently improve your well-being and happiness? If you'd like to lead a fuller, more satisfying life—or help a mentally ill loved one—this book is for you.

In From Survive to Thrive, Dr. Margaret S. Chisolm, a psychiatrist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, describes a tried-and-true plan to help anyone grappling with life's challenges learn how to flourish. Dr. Chisolm does not define health as the mere absence of illness. She wants you to be able to lead the best life possible—to thrive! In down-to-earth prose, Dr. Chisolm provides insight into how readers can cultivate healthy habits and more positive reactions to life's provocations, choosing not to allow past life circumstances or a disease state to define their well-being. She also

• introduces the four perspectives through which all mental distress should be examined: disease, dimensional, behavior, and life story
• describes the four pathways associated with well-being: family, work, education, and community
• includes fascinating stories from her own clinical (and personal) experience featuring real people who found fulfillment by embracing these perspectives and pathways
• supplements detailed, step-by-step advice with interactive elements, including self-assessments and self-reflection exercises
• incorporates graphic elements to illustrate important lessons

This upbeat guide is the first to detail evidence-based principles for improving well-being in those with mental illness.


"Heartily recommended. Dr. Chisolm is broad-minded in her understanding of patients and the full range of issues and concerns that fill their lives."
— Michael D. Jibson, MD, PhD, University of Michigan

"Chisolm does a brilliant job weaving together her case study experience and personal story to explain what constitutes a thriving life and how to find fulfillment. I recommend this book with enthusiasm."
— John H. Harvey, PhD, University of Iowa

"Providing a refreshing new approach to understanding and alleviating mental illness, this book combines engaging writing and illustrative narratives with courageous self-disclosure and interactive exercises. Dr. Chisolm is candid and compelling. Her book separates itself from the pack by offering a much-needed perspective."
— Fallon R. Goodman, PhD, University of South Florida

"There is a plethora of emotional self-help books available, but From Survive to Thrive is unique in its pragmatic approach to guiding people to recovery. This book is a transformative companion—one that sensibly enables individuals to understand their perspectives, accompanying them to an ultimate fulfillment in life that arises from within."
— Juliette Perzhinsky, MD, Central Michigan University College of Medicine

"Once I started reading this book, I found it difficult to put down. With engaging case examples, clear and lively writing, and practical guidance, Dr. Chisolm—a highly experienced psychiatrist—leads us on a journey to find new ways of 'flourishing.' This book will be enlightening for individuals struggling with mental illness or addiction, as well as their family members and friends."
— Laura B. Dunn, MD, Stanford University

"As a practicing psychiatrist and the mother of a child with a serious mental illness who IS currently thriving, I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with a mental illness who wants to maximize their recovery, understand their illness better, and even become a healthier and happier person."
— Jennifer L. Payne, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

"Meg Chisolm uses the powerful story of her own postpartum depression to explain how mental illness is shaped by biology, personality, behavior, and life experiences—and how an understanding of these elements can help people move beyond stigma to lead rich, productive, and fulfilling lives with mental illness. What a gift!"
— Lauren M. Osborne, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

About the Authors:

Margaret S. Chisolm, MD, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, a professor of medicine, and the vice chair for education in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The director of the Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing, she is the coauthor of Systematic Psychiatric Evaluation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying the Perspectives of Psychiatry.

Journalist John Hanc teaches writing and journalism at New York Institute of Technology. He is the co-writer of Fighting for My Life: How to Thrive in the Shadow of Alzheimer's and Organize Your Emotions, Optimize Your Life: Decode Your Emotional DNA—and Thrive.

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