Beyond "Feeling Good": resources for my depressed sister
March 21, 2011 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Beyond Feeling Good: My sister is experiencing depression for the first time in her life. What can I give her to read that will help her understand depression—especially that it's not her fault—and the things she can do to treat it? Potentially relevant: she is both married to an experimental scientist (she's swayed by facts, data, and studies from universities whose names she recognizes), and a devout Catholic (approaches to depression from a Catholic point of view would particularly appeal to her).

I'm especially looking for books to read or audiobooks to listen to (she has a daily commute by car). When I was first diagnosed with depression myself last fall, I turned to Metafilter for help, but just sending my sister a link to the depression tag on askme (which was my first resource!) won't work.

I'm aware of Feeling Good, and plan to include it with whatever else I send her.
posted by ocherdraco to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to look into The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon. It's quite the read, but well worth it.
posted by Vervain at 8:37 AM on March 21, 2011

Not Catholic, but from a spiritual point of view: this Speaking of Faith episode is really good.
posted by clavicle at 9:02 AM on March 21, 2011

Try this book.
posted by cass at 9:49 AM on March 21, 2011

Vervain, thank you for that recommendation - just picked up a used copy for myself.
posted by mrbill at 10:48 AM on March 21, 2011

Response by poster: The Noonday Demon is a good book, but when I read it at the start of a long depression, I found that it just made me feel worse. Not wanting to risk that, I'm going to hold onto that recommendation until she's out of the woods and into a happier place.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:18 AM on March 21, 2011

Beyond Blue is a beliefnet blog subtitled "a spiritual journey to mental health." Its author, Therese Borchard, has also written elsewhere (and books) about mental health and Catholicism.
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 12:48 PM on March 21, 2011

It's been a long time since I read it, but I seem to remember that Against Depression was really good in terms of understanding depression and getting the determination to fight it.

and my cat recommends it, too.
posted by epersonae at 1:39 PM on March 21, 2011

I was going to suggest The Noonday Demon, since it's the best description of the experience of being depressed that I've read, but upon seeing your comment, scratch that. Instead, I'll second the rec for Against Depression. I love AD because it not only discusses the science and what's currently understood about depression, it's also a polemic against the idea that depression is somehow a good thing and that treatment is bad. (Misquoting from memory, he says something along the lines of "it's as ridiculous to suggest not treating depression as it would be to suggest not treating tuberculosis. Yes, they used to think consumption was a sign of refinement. Now we know it's a disease. Depression is a disease too, not a sign of emotional complexity or depth or anything like that.")
posted by Lexica at 4:47 PM on March 21, 2011

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