Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review: Beating the Blues by Seema Hingorrany

On the jacket:

A comprehensive guide to keeping depression at bay

  • Can’t sleep soundly?
  • Don’t feel like stepping out of the house?
  • Having suicidal thoughts?

You might be depressed and don’t know it yet. According to a WHO study, a mindboggling 35.9 percent of India suffers from Major Depressive Episodes (MDE). Yet depression remains a much evaded topic, quietly brushed under the carpet by most of us. In Beating the Blues, India’s leading clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and trauma researcher Seema Hingorrany provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to treating depression, examining what the term really means, its signs, causes, and symptoms. The book will equip you with:

  • Easy-to-follow self-help strategies and result-oriented solutions
  • Ways of preventing a depression relapse
  • Everyday examples, statistics, and interesting case-studies
  • Workbooks designed for Seema’s clients
  • With clients ranging from celebrities and models to teenagers, married couples, and children, Seema decodes depression for you. Informative and user-friendly, with a foreword by Indu Shahani, the Sheriff of Mumbai, Beating the Blues is an invaluable guide for those who want to deal with depression but don’t know how.

The moment I read the first page of this book, I froze and kept it aside. An hour later, I asked my husband to read it.  He had a similar reaction. It seemed like the book was being written about me.

I know this might sound dramatic, and no, the book didn't talk about my experiences, but it did a lot. I have been fighting major depression (bipolar disorder) since January 2010, and reading Beating the Blues was like looking at the mirror at many points. 

Frankly, as a reader, I cannot tell you how medically informative Beating the Blues is, but for a reader, it is a lot. It's something I would really advice everyone reads; not just someone going through depression, but others too. Mostly, it's people around the depressed people who do not identify the problem and dismiss it as nothing, pushing the depressed person further into the dark tunnel.

You'd be amazed to know that:
  • Depression is the common cold of mental illnesses.
  • Depression is as real as any other disease.
  • Telling the depressed person to just snap out of it, or to keep themselves occupied, is not the solution.
  • Be kind to the depressed, you might be pushing them into more complications.
  • Depression leads to physical ailments; in fact it's one of the primary causes.
There are so many more things we need to know about depression, whether we are ourselves depressed or not. 

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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